Reread the introductory challenge scenario involving Jessica and Sam.
Then answer the two sets of questions below, either independently or with a group.
Even after Jessica suggested that they draw a diagram, Sam had a hard time seeing how to apply the idea. Why do you think Sam had this difficulty? What barriers do you think get in the way of students using visual representations to understand and solve math problems? How might you help students overcome these barriers?
In our opening scenario, Sam was more than willing to go along with the idea of drawing a picture to help visualize the situation (even if he didn’t know how). It’s quite possible that you would interact with students who doubt the value of representing math visually. What are some ways you might help such students see the benefits of using visual math? Are there examples from some of the “Links for More Information” that might offer convincing illustrations of the power of using visualization to illustrate or clarify math concepts?