Have students prove universal themes in math. In the example to the right, students used the generalization, "Relationships serve a purpose", to explore integers. In this lesson, students explored the parallels between the images to better understand how they were related. After charting the relationships, I introduced the big idea for the lesson- Integers. Having this understanding at the start of the lesson helped students to have a more conceptual understanding of the topic.
Using the Universal Theme, "Order" in the Elementary Classroom
Looking for ways to integrate the universal theme, order into your math classroom? You can use the generalization, "Order has a purpose" to help students make a connection to order and their own learning in mathematics.
Take for example, the role order has in understanding place value. By understanding the order (tens, hundreds, etc) you can more easily understand the value to which each are applied.
Universal Themes and Iconic Statements in Math
Having students prove iconic statements (universal truths) requires a very high level of thinking.
In this example, students were pressed to support the premise: examining details allows us to see patterns and relationships in math. This was done as a culminating activity toward the end of the year.