Research on students' learning has made it clear that learning happens through an interaction with others and through communication. In the classroom, the more students talk and discuss their ideas, the more they learn. However, within a one-hour period, it is hard to give everyone an equal opportunity to talk and share their ideas. Organizing students in groups distributes classroom talk more widely and equitably (Cohen and Lotan 1997).

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Stephanie M. Butman,, teaches high school mathematics at Oakland Flex Tech Academy in Novi, Michigan. She is passionate about collaborative learning, creative problem solving, and effective mathematical communication.

(Corresponding author is Butman
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
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