Math Connections: Math to Self; Math to World; Math to Math
Arthur Hyde (2006) in a book called Comprehending Math, made an excellent point about how we need to have students make connections with math like we have them make connections in reading.
He noted that using coding such as Math to Self (M-S), Math to World (M-W )and Math to Math (M-M) gets students to think about math more critically.
Math to Self involves students making connections about math to their real lives and their prior knowledge bases. Questions might look like:
1) Where do I use this in real life?
2) What do I already know about this?
3) Is there a tricky part?
Math to World involves students making connections between the wider world (events, media, environment) and the math they are studying. Questions might look like:
1) Where do they talk about this type of math?
2) How do people use this type of math in real life?
3) Have I seen this before in movies or on t.v.?
Math to Math involves students making connections about math to math. Questions might look like:
1) Did we do something like this last year?
2) Did we do something like this this year?
3) What is the Big Idea here?
4) What are some math ideas that are related to this idea?
It is a good idea to have students ponder these questions throughout your units of study. It helps them to reflect on how math is a very essential part of our everyday lives!