Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form. Visual representations allow learners to exhibit what they know and can do in alternative ways that can support Working Memory during problem solving and retention of information in Long-term Memory. In particular, research has shown that creating their own diagrams of problems helps late elementary and middle school students develop the skills necessary for understanding and using diagrams successfully to support problem-solving.
Watch how this teacher models creating visuals for word problems as a way for learners to show their work on Proportional Reasoning and Operations problems. Through sketching the problem with a picture, chart, or graph, learners can choose the method that works best for them.
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