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Engaging Elementary Students in the Creative Process of Mathematizing Their World through Mathematical Modeling

Abstract

"This paper examines the experiences of two elementary teachers' implementation of mathematical modeling in their classrooms and how the enactment by the teachers and the engagement by students exhibited their creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. In particular, we explore the questions: (1) How can phases of mathematical modeling as a process serve as a venue for exhibiting students' critical 21st century skills? (2) What were some effective pedagogical practices teachers used as they implemented mathematical modeling with elementary students and how did these promote students' 21st century skills? We propose that mathematical modeling provides space for teachers and students to have a collective experience through the iterative process of making sense of and building knowledge of important mathematical ideas while engaging in the critical 21st century skills necessary in our complex modern world."

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