Math PK-2

Mathematical Flexibility

Factor Connections

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How Mathematical Flexibility connects to...

Mathematical Flexibility is the ability to maintain and flexibly shift among multiple representations of numbers and problem-solving strategies. Students can use Mathematical Flexibility when they are problem solving to remember and shift among these multiple representations and strategies to help them better understand mathematical concepts and find solutions to math problems.

Main Ideas

There are two key types of Mathematical Flexibility:

  • Representational Flexibility supports students in thinking about numbers in different ways. For example, a number may be represented as a point on a number line or a grouping of dots. Being able to represent numbers in multiple ways supports conceptual understanding of numbers overall and allows students to see the deeper similarities among math problems.
  • Procedural Flexibility supports students in considering different strategies when solving a problem. Not only do students need to be able to solve problems quickly and accurately, they also need to make strategy choices in an adaptive manner. Procedural Flexibility allows students to shift away from more cumbersome procedures learned early on to more efficient strategies, which improves speed and supports greater accuracy in mathematical thinking and problem solving.

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