We examined the codevelopment of mathematical concepts and the mathematical practice of defining within a sixth-grade class investigating space and geometry. Drawing upon existing literature, we present a framework for describing forms of participation in defining, what we term aspects of definitional practice. Analysis of classroom interactions during 16 episodes spanning earlier and later phases of instruction illustrate how student participation in aspects of definitional practice influenced their emerging conceptions of the geometry of shape and form and how emerging conceptions of shape and form provided opportunities to develop and elaborate aspects of definitional practice. Several forms of teacher discourse appeared to support students' participation and students' increasing agency over time. These included: (a) requesting that members of the class participate in various aspects of practice, (b) asking questions that serve to expand the mathematical system, (c) modeling participation in aspects of practice, (d) proposing examples that create contest (i.e., monsters), and (e) explicitly stating expectations of and purposes for participating in the practice.
Marta Kobiela and Richard Lehrer
Anna F. DeJarnette and Gloriana González
Given the prominence of group work in mathematics education policy and curricular materials, it is important to understand how students make sense of mathematics during group work. We applied techniques from Systemic Functional Linguistics to examine how students positioned themselves during group work on a novel task in Algebra II classes. We examined the patterns of positioning that students demonstrated during group work and how students' positioning moves related to the ways they established the resources, operations, and product of a task. Students who frequently repositioned themselves created opportunities for mathematical reasoning by attending to the resources and operations necessary for completing the task. The findings of this study suggest how students' positioning and mathematical reasoning are intertwined and jointly support collaborative learning through work on novel tasks.
Mary E. Pilgrim
A two-part calculus activity uses true-false questions and a descriptive outline designed to promote active learning.
Stephanie M. Butman
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).
The advent of dynamic geometry software has changed the way students draw, construct, and measure by using virtual tools instead of or along with physical tools. Use of technology in general and of dynamic geometry in particular has gained traction in mathematics education, as evidenced in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSI 2010).
Janet Sharp and Rachael M. Welder
Students notoriously struggle with division of fractions in 5 key areas. Hear what those 5 areas are and how recommendations address the limitations.
Jennifer Knudsen, Teresa Lara-Meloy, Harriette Stallworth Stevens, and Daisy Wise Rutstein
“Telling” can be an effective tool in helping students engage in intellectually demanding argumentation and productive behavior.
D. Bruce Jackson
Given two slices of bread—a problem and the answer—students fill in the fixings: their own mathematics reasoning.
Agida G. Manizade and Marguerite M. Mason
When calculating the area of a trapezoid, students use a range of problem-solving strategies and measurement concepts.
Karin E. Lange, Julie L. Booth, and Kristie J. Newton
Presenting examples of both correctly and incorrectly worked solutions is a practical classroom strategy that helps students counter misconceptions about algebra.