Elaine doesn’t like it when her students struggle. She wants to run over to them, pick up the pencil, and show them the way. Yet she knows this is not best for them because when students productively struggle to make sense of the mathematics, they
This is a shameless play on “six degrees of separation.” I assure you Kevin Bacon will make no appearance, nor can I find any relationship between the two of us. Instead, I share some observations about representations in mathematics classes. Some are my own missteps.
In our work, we help teachers support rich, inclusive mathematical discussions among all students. For these discussions to happen, a classroom culture must be developed based on what are often new norms for mathematics class: that students should listen to each other, not just the
It always feels good when we ask a question and we get a correct answer in response. It feels good when our students do well. But sometimes their “success” fools us. We might think of correct answers as an example of learning. But along the
I think it’s intuitive for teacher. We all know this: We are supposed to connect our content to students’ interests. I was a high school math teacher. Niggling in the back of my mind was how to really hook students into learning the content I
Close to ten years ago, while serving as President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) I wrote a President’s Message that was entitled “Go Ahead, Teach to the Test!” I had very deliberately chosen the title of my message to “grab” readers,
How do we give our students a present without telling them what it is before they open it?
Often when we tell our students what they are going to learn at the beginning of the lesson, I feel that we are telling them what the present
Welcome to school! As teachers, each year and each class brings new joys and challenges as we get to know our students as people and as learners. We are faced with the often-daunting task of designing learning experiences to entice and excite our students to
Each fall teachers struggle with how to support parents who are helping their children with math homework. When conducting back-to-school meetings with parents, teachers typically summarize the math curriculum by course content. Sometimes, teachers will hand out a list of resources, study aids, and games
“I don’t understand! What do they want me to do?”
Do you remember the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher? We aren’t sure what she’s saying but the sounds of “wah, wah, wah” wash over us as she’s talking. For some students, the abstract notation of mathematics,