In classrooms, students engage in argumentation through justifying and generalizing. However, these activities can be difficult for teachers to conceptualize and therefore promote in their classrooms. In this article, we present the Student Discourse Observation Tool (SDOT) developed to support teachers in noticing and promoting student justifying and generalizing. The SDOT serves the purpose of (a) focusing teacher noticing on student argumentation during classroom observations, and (b) promoting focused discussion of student discourse in teacher professional learning communities. We provide survey data illustrating that elementary-level teachers who participated in professional development leveraging the SDOT had richer conceptions of justifying and generalizing and greater ability to characterize students' justifying and generalizing when compared with a set of control teachers. We argue that the SDOT provides both an important focusing lens for teachers and a means to concretize the abstract mathematical activities of justifying and generalizing.
Kathleen Melhuish, Texas State University, 601 University Dr., Mathematics Department, San Marcos, TX 78666; firstname.lastname@example.org
Eva Thanheiser, Portland State University, Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics & Statistics, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207; email@example.com
Joshua Fagan, Texas State University, 601 University Dr., Mathematics Department, San Marcos, TX 78666; firstname.lastname@example.org