4 Summary

This unit has asked you to explore how your students find the volumes of combinations of solids. It discussed ways for you to use to make students feel more involved in the process of learning mathematics, and how they can understand that mathematics is about real-life ideas, not just formulae in a textbook. You have learned how to support students in making choices in mathematics that can allow them to feel in control of their learning: choices about how to solve problems and how to explain ideas in their own words. Making choices means that they have to think through these ideas, which makes them learn more effectively and own that learning. They no longer feel that they are doing something that really has nothing to do with them.

These approaches are important, because many students find learning mathematics so traumatic that they simply do not want to think about it. They worry so much about using the one right process to get the one right answer that they are not able to think about the mathematics. They worry that they will look foolish if they give the wrong answer so they would rather not try. Overcoming these widely held beliefs will take time and persistence, but making sure that your students are involved in their lessons using the ways described in this unit will help them believe that they can do mathematics.

Pause for thought

Identify three ideas that you have used in this unit that would work when teaching other topics. Make a note now of two topics you have to teach soon where those ideas can be used with some small adjustments.

3 Coping with daunting mathematical writing