# Activating Prior Knowledge

**YouTube**

You may wonder what YouTube has to do with math; however, YouTube is a great site to find effective models of mathematic and scientific concepts. For example, watch the following wide students created about math. [The Pi Song] A video about mathematics is an example of a model because it simplifies a complex topic.

## Unit Objectives

- The participant will be able to classify a teaching/instructional model

## What are Models?

### Models

According to Gilbert and Ireton in their book, ‘Understanding Models in Earth and Space Science’, “a model is a system of objects or symbols that represents some aspect of another system…”

Essentially, a model is a tool used to make learning easier by simplifying the target in some way. For example, a science teacher could use a diagram of a solar system to illustrate the proportional size of all the planets. What you are trying to simplify is called a target, and the simplified version is the model. In our example of the solar system, the target is the entire system and the model is the diagram.

## Examples of Models

- A map is a model of a road system
- Trigonometry and Ferris Wheel

This is an example of a model found on YouTube

## Self Reflection

Now that you have been provided with a brief description of a model, please take a few minutes to answer the following questions. Use this as a self-reflection to identify your current attitude towards models and their implementation. When you have finished, use the discussion area to exchange ideas about models with other participants.

- What do you think the benefits are implementing modeling into a lesson are?
- How often do you currently use models in your classroom?
- Why do you implement models as frequent, or infrequent, as you do? Is time, preparation, lack of knowledge a factor?
- What would you like to learn about models through out this course?

In addition to answering the above questions in the discussion space, please go to [Models as an Instructional Tool] and complete the self-reflection survey.

## References and Resources

- Gilbert, S.W., & Ireton, S.W. (2003). Understanding models in earth and space science. Arlington, VA: NSTA press.

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