Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg: Using Representations to Support Student Understanding

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David C. Webb is an assistant professor of mathematics education at the University of Coloradoat Boulder.

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Nina Boswinkel at the Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at Utrecht Universityin the Netherlands.

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Truus Dekker at the Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at Utrecht Universityin the Netherlands.

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A common challenge for middle-grades mathematics teachers is to find ways to promote student understanding of mathematics. When an algorithm for adding or subtracting fractions is explained as clearly as possible and students have opportunities to practice it, the reality is that many students will continue to confuse the procedures and forget how they work. The primary intervention used to address student confusion is to reteach common procedures and give additional practice in the hope that the students will understand over time.

Footnotes

David C. Webb is interested in the design of professional development that supports teachers' classroom assessment practices.

Nina Boswinkel and Truus Dekker are interested in curriculum design and professional development focusing on more accessible instructional interventions.

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Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
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