Remember the best teachers you had? Remember how they made their classes come alive? How one of the ways they made things exciting was by using analogies — little stories that connected new concepts to things you already knew and understood?
Educational researchers today are studying what makes analogies such an effective teaching tool. They have found that the use of analogies is one of the best techniques for making concepts “stick.” By relating that which students need to know to that which they already do know, teachers create bridges in understanding, and those bridges give students a way to grasp a new and difficult concepts.
The same holds true in math class. If we teachers use powerful analogies that make concepts more memorable, students are more likely to enjoy the lesson, and as a result, they’ll be more likely to remember what was taught.
I would like to present a quick-and-easy analogy that helps students learn about our number system, on the one hand, and which also helps students work with fractions, on the other hand.
The analogy is to something I call the “Ladder of Primes.” (more…)