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# Visual Descriptions in Solving Math Problems Research Paper

## Article 1

Moss, E. (2013). Dessert dilemma. Teaching Children Mathematics, 20(1), 8-9.

The article outlines a problem scenario that can be used for helping students who are familiar with “fraction meanings and representations” (Moss, 2013, p. 8) to master the concept. The problem is also suitable for young learners who are performing algorithms without focusing on the context of a situation. The scenario involves two pans of brownies and encourages students to think about the units of measurement.

Besides, the problem presented in the article can help educators to eradicate common errors associated with fraction addition. Moss (2013) argues that students are exceptionally energized by the discussion of the problem and adds that “the scenario capitalizes on both a fondness for cookouts and desserts” (p. 9). The author stresses that learners should be encouraged to engage in a group discussion of the problem scenario.

## Article 2

Wilkerson, T., Bryan, T., & Curry, J. (2012). An appetite for fractions. Teaching Children Mathematics, 19(2), 90-99.

The article discusses a lesson episode in which sixth-graders explore equivalency and division infractions. The instructional sequence revolves around “the candy bar model” (Wilkerson, Bryan, & Curry, 2012, p. 99) that involves the use of chocolate for exploring relationships between fractions. The researchers argue that students’ understanding of the mathematical concept has substantially evolved over the sequence.

Wilkerson et al. (2012) also emphasize the importance of exposing students to different models to solidify their conceptual understanding of equivalency infractions. The authors describe common misunderstanding associated with the learning sequence and argue that they can be eliminated through collective discussions that involve the use of fractional pieces as a learning aid. The article provides invaluable insights into approaches to developing students’ understanding of fractions.

## Synthesis of Both Articles

The activities described in the articles can produce several solutions, which can also help students to better understand how shares can be partitioned. Also, young learners exposed to the fraction problem involving sweets can inadvertently make connections with other mathematical topics. For example, through incidental learning, students can discover that area parts of a chocolate bar can be used to divide fractions. This understanding can serve as a solid foundation for establishing algorithms for solving similar fractional problems. From this vantage point, it is apparent that chocolate bars serve as a valuable visual aid for computational problems involving fractions. A question then arises as to how children’s affection for sweets can be used to support their academic success in the area of mathematics.

## Sharing Knowledge

### Question

Can confectionery-themed visual representations be effective in helping students to solve mathematics problems that do not involve fractions?

### Teacher’s Response

The teacher has responded that visual aids can considerably help elementary students to understand a wide range of mathematical concepts and problems. The experienced mathematics educator has argued that by providing learners with appropriate illustrations it is possible to achieve stronger comprehension of a problem situation. Sweets are associated with positive feelings in children. Therefore, the teacher has maintained that by complementing mathematical problems with pictures of sweets, it is possible to capitalize on students’ real-world knowledge and their affection for confectionary products, thereby improving their ability to execute various mathematical operations.

## Analysis

By drawing on the teacher’s response, it can be argued that the use of confectionary-themed illustrations of mathematical problems can help young learners to improve their ability to embed mathematical concepts into different linguistic contexts. Therefore, mathematics educators should not ignore the aesthetic elements of their problem scenarios. Instead, they have to explore how students’ predilections can be used in their profession.

## References

Moss, E. (2013). Dessert dilemma. Teaching Children Mathematics, 20(1), 8-9.

Wilkerson, T., Bryan, T., & Curry, J. (2012). An appetite for fractions. Teaching Children Mathematics, 19(2), 90-99.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Visual Descriptions in Solving Math Problems'. 21 November.