# How can visuals help students solve math problems?

Contents

Visuals can help students solve math problems by providing a concrete representation of abstract concepts, helping to clarify relationships between different parts of a problem, and making it easier to visualize and manipulate data.

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Visual aids can play a crucial role in the teaching and learning of mathematics. By using visuals, educators can help students to better understand and solve complex math problems. The following are some ways that visuals can aid students in their math studies:

1. Visuals make abstract concepts more concrete: According to Dr. Steven Wilson, “Using visual aids makes the abstract concepts of mathematics more tangible and concrete for students.” By providing visual representations of the concepts being taught, students can better understand and make sense of the math they are learning.

2. Visuals clarify relationships between different parts of a problem: A graphic organizer or diagram can help students see the relationships between different parts of a math problem. For example, a Venn diagram can be used to compare and contrast two sets of data.

3. Visuals increase retention: Studies have shown that students retain information better when visuals are used in the classroom. In fact, researchers have found that using visuals can increase comprehension and retention by up to 400%.

4. Visuals can make data easier to manipulate: By using graphs, charts, and other visual aids, students can more easily manipulate and analyze data. This makes it easier for them to identify patterns and draw conclusions.

In conclusion, visuals can be a powerful tool in the teaching and learning of mathematics. As John D. Bransford, professor of education at the University of Washington, notes, “Visuals help us make sense of what we see and organize our thoughts more effectively.” By incorporating visuals into their lessons, educators can help students to better understand and solve math problems.

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Pros of using visuals in math education
Makes abstract concepts concrete
Clarifies relationships between parts
Increases retention
Makes data easier to manipulate

## A video response to “How can visuals help students solve math problems?”

The traditional method of teaching math using words can be ineffective for many students, but a visual approach can be more accessible and engaging. This can include worksheets with no words, interactive software, and visual games that teach sophisticated math concepts. Visual games, in particular, can remove language barriers and help students connect the dots in a language-free way. A study at UC Irvine showed that this approach was able to triple the rate of math proficiency growth in 106 schools in Orange County. The visual approach can benefit all students, including those with language-based learning difficulties, and provide them with an opportunity to learn without words.

## I discovered more data

Research shows that the use of visual representations may lead to positive gains in math achievement. Visual representations help students develop a deeper understanding of the problems they are working with, making them more effective problem solvers.

Visuals are an important aspect of math education, and they help students learn mathematical concepts and their practical applications. Visuals not only help us clearly convey concepts, but they also measurably improve our students’ math performance. Learning math through visualization gives students a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Visual mathematics is an important part of mathematics for its own sake, and new brain research tells us that visual mathematics even helps students learn numerical mathematics. Explicit instruction with visual representations includes plenty of opportunities for students to practice, get feedback, and ask questions.

Visuals not only help us clearly convey concepts; they also measurably improve our students’ math performance1. Powerful learning occurs when we use different areas of our brains at the same time. When we interpret visual information, we engage a different part of the brain than working with numbers.

Learning math through visualization gives students a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and their practical applications. Visuals are an important aspect of math education, and this applies to everyone⏤not just visual learners.

Visual mathematics is an important part of mathematics for its own sake and new brain research tells us that visual mathematics even helps students learn numerical mathematics. In a ground breaking new study Joonkoo Park & Elizabeth Brannon (2013), found that the most powerful learning occurs when we use different areas of the brain.

Explicit instruction with visual representations includes plenty of opportunities for students to practice, get feedback, and ask questions. These include pictures and drawings, diagrams, graphs, physical gesturing, and manipulatives. As students become more adept at using visuals, the cognitive demand for solving the problem lessens.

Like this…

Danyal got an A* in his Mathematics IGCSE (16+) 7 years early and now, aged 11, is getting ready for his Mathematics A-level (18+) exams which he’ll be doing in a few weeks.

He tries a past-paper question, checks his answer and then Googles it if he doesn’t understand, often finding the solution on YouTube.

And then he repeats.

No classes, no tutors, no homework, no textbooks.

A laptop, some passion and a comfortable sofa is the best way to study mathematics…

## You will most likely be interested in this

### How do visual representations help in math?

Answer will be: Visual representations (VRs) are used in mathematics to help students solve problems or understand abstract ideas. Graphing data, placing numbers in a line, or drawing out a word problem are all examples of using VRs.

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### Why is it necessary for mathematics teachers to use visuals when teaching mathematics?

The response is: As students become more adept at using visuals, the cognitive demand for solving the problem lessens. In other words, it gets easier for them to solve math problems. Students respond better to visuals that the teacher prescribes than to those they select on their own.

### What is problem solving using visuals?

Response to this: Visual problem-solving includes using visual aids like flowcharts, maps, diagrams, and sticky notes in your problem-solving process. Visual problem-solving helps you to: Understand the problem: Visuals reveal the way that different elements relate to each other, offering enhanced clarity.

### How do visual representations help students learn?

As a response to this: Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form. Visual representations allow learners to exhibit what they know and can do in alternative ways that can support Working Memory during problem solving and retention of information in Long-term Memory.

### Do visual representations help students solve math problems?

In reply to that: Students who use accurate visual representations are six times more likely to correctly solve mathematics problems than are students who do not use them. However, students who use inaccurate visual representations are less likely to correctly solve mathematics problems than those who do not use visual representations at all.

### Why is visualizing mathematics important?

The response is: Our job as educators is to set a stage that maximizes the amount of learning done by our students, and teaching students mathematics in this visual way provides a powerful pathway for us to do our job well. The process of visualizing mathematics tests your abilities at first, and you’ll find that it makes both you and your students learn.

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### Why do students use visual supports?

Response will be: The point being, we reached a place where my students were able to process the learning. The power of the visual representation made all the difference for these students, and being able to sequence through the problem using the visual supports completely changed the interactions they were having with the problem.

### What is the purpose of a visual?

In reply to that: The purpose of this visual is to reflect a student’s understanding of the problem and to help her correctly solve it. For example, in the photo to the right, a student is using a visual representation—here, a pie chart—to learn about equivalent fractions.

### Do visual representations help students solve math problems?

Answer to this: Students who use accurate visual representations are six times more likely to correctly solve mathematics problems than are students who do not use them. However, students who use inaccurate visual representations are less likely to correctly solve mathematics problems than those who do not use visual representations at all.

### Why is visualizing mathematics important?

Our job as educators is to set a stage that maximizes the amount of learning done by our students, and teaching students mathematics in this visual way provides a powerful pathway for us to do our job well. The process of visualizing mathematics tests your abilities at first, and you’ll find that it makes both you and your students learn.

### Why do students use visual supports?

The point being, we reached a place where my students were able to process the learning. The power of the visual representation made all the difference for these students, and being able to sequence through the problem using the visual supports completely changed the interactions they were having with the problem.

### What is the purpose of a visual?

Answer: The purpose of this visual is to reflect a student’s understanding of the problem and to help her correctly solve it. For example, in the photo to the right, a student is using a visual representation—here, a pie chart—to learn about equivalent fractions.

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