Question Detail

What strategies do you use when teaching proofs?

Apr 9, 2013 5:14am

  • Math
  • 9-12
  • Planning

3

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    • Apr 9, 2013 11:32am

      Hi Mike, I like to tell students that writing a proof is like writing an argumentative essay or a closing argument in a big trial. You state your intentions and the given information, you assume nothing, you back up each of your arguments with known facts and previously ascertained statements, and you conclude with showing what you intended to prove is indeed true without leaving any doubts. Start with a simple example, or even a lesson on logic statements, depending on the type of proof you are going to do.
      Hope this helps!

      • Jun 5, 2013 5:44pm

        Besides what Ms. Collins described and because the nature of proofs can themselves become subjective, I have students write their 2-col proofs for the same one problem in teams. Then I would choose a couple of people from each team to show their proofs. The whole class can critique as jurors, like you would have in a court of law, the 2 "lawyers" case presentation. They can argue where shorter/longer proofs are necessarily worse/better. I like how the CPM curriculum introduces students taking Geometry to writing of proofs.

        • Aug 21, 2013 1:29pm

          Hi Mike!
          Check out this graphic organizer that is a great strategy to give students an example of how to "think through" creating proofs:

          https://www.teachingchannel.org/resources/29083