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Dare to Compare? Introduction to Using Comparison Charts in the Mathematics Classroom


"The geometry team at the Oregon Mathematics Leadership Institute (OMLI) created and delivered a course for K-12 teachers called "Comparing Different Geometries." A major part of this course was spent on creating extensive comparison charts aimed at synthesizing newly acquired knowledge that teachers gained in Spherical and Taxicab geometries, and connecting this knowledge to ideas in the school geometry curriculum.

In this article, we discuss using comparison as a method for reviewing, looking back, and extending mathematical knowledge. We can also imagine it working well as part of an on-going process; as students construct new knowledge, they may spend time revising and editing their charts based on formative feedback from the teacher. We believe that comparison charts are an interesting and invaluable tool for supporting students as they make connections between different mathematical ideas (NCTM, 2000)."