Fostering critical thinking with Number Hive

Posted in
June 9, 2023

Which subject in school do you associate most with thinking? The first that comes to mind to most mathematics teachers of course is math(s). You might be surprised to learn that for most math(s) classrooms this is not the case. When your child says they didn’t do anything in math(s) today, the research shows they’re probably right.

When it comes to subjects that promote critical thinking, mathematics stands out. However, research shows that most math classrooms struggle to prioritize this essential skill. Recent studies reveal that students often engage in “non-thinking behaviors” to avoid grappling with math concepts. In this blog, we will explore these behaviors and explain how why Number Hive can be a groundbreaking solution for you to foster critical thinking in mathematics class.

Understanding Non-Thinking Behaviors:

Renowned researcher Peter Liljedahl’s study, highlighted in a recent article by ‘The Conversation,’ identifies four main non-thinking behaviors observed in math classrooms:

  • Slacking: Students make no attempt at the task, instead talking or doing nothing.
  • Stalling: Students show no real effort in the task, engaging in off-task behaviors like ruling up the page.
  • Faking: Students pretend to work on the task but achieve little, often engaging in on-task behaviors such as drawing or writing headings.
  • Mimicking: Students attempt to complete the task but rely on others or previous examples without genuine thinking.

Research spanning 15 years reveals that up to 80% of students exhibit non-thinking behaviors throughout an average hour-long math lesson. The most common behavior is mimicking (53%), indicating that teachers often do most of the thinking while students merely follow a process.

The Need for “Thinking” Math Classrooms:

Australian researcher Tracey Muir conducted a study in 2021 with a Year ¾ class, which found that 63% of students exhibited non-thinking behaviors, with slacking and stalling being the most prevalent. These behaviors, such as rubbing out, sharpening pencils, or playing with counters, were especially prominent when students worked in unsupervised small groups.

One possible explanation for students slacking and stalling is that teachers dominate the conversation and fail to provide ample opportunities for students to think independently. To address this issue, we must build “thinking” math classrooms and reduce the prevalence of non-thinking behaviors.

Number Hive: Empowering Critical Thinking in Mathematics:

Mathematics education has long struggled to foster critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and engaging learning experiences. Fortunately, Number Hive offers a shining solution. This innovative mathematics app specifically addresses the problems associated with non-thinking behaviors. Let’s delve into how Number Hive revolutionizes mathematics education:

Fostering Critical Thinking:

  • Number Hive employs a game-based learning approach that encourages students to think critically and strategically. By navigating interactive games, students encounter mathematical challenges that demand analysis, evaluation, and the application of knowledge to solve problems. The app prompts deep thinking, promotes making connections, and develops a strong understanding of mathematical concepts.

Encouraging Problem-Solving Skills:

  • Number Hive places a strong emphasis on problem-solving. It presents students with a wide range of mathematics problems, encouraging them to apply their problem-solving skills in a fun and engaging manner. By challenging students to think creatively, Number Hive helps them develop effective strategies and boosts their confidence in tackling complex mathematical tasks.

Engaging Game-Based Learning:

  • Breaking away from traditional instruction, Number Hive incorporates game-based learning elements. The app presents mathematical concepts in an exciting and interactive format, capturing students’ attention and motivation to explore further. Through captivating visuals, immersive gameplay, and rewarding achievements, Number Hive makes mathematics enjoyable and transforms learning into an adventure.

Developing Fluency in Number Operations:

  • Fluency in number operations forms the foundation of mathematics. Number Hive provides ample opportunities for students to practice and reinforce their understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Engaging challenges and puzzles within the app require students to apply their fluency skills in a meaningful context, promoting automaticity and confidence in numerical calculations.

Personalized Learning and Differentiation:

  • Recognizing that every student has unique learning needs, Number Hive incorporates adaptive features that adjust the difficulty level based on individual progress. This ensures students are appropriately challenged and supported, fostering a sense of achievement and preventing them from feeling overwhelmed or unchallenged.

Number Hive is a game-changer in mathematics education, addressing the challenges faced in traditional instruction and empowering students to think critically, develop problem-solving skills, and build fluency in number operations. By harnessing the power of game-based learning and problem-solving, Number Hive equips students with the essential skills needed to become confident, competent, and creative mathematicians. Give it a try in your class, and empower students to unlock their mathematical potential with Number Hive. Together, we can transform mathematics education and shape the mathematical minds of the future

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