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).
Stephanie M. Butman
Katie L. Anderson
Teachers share success stories and ideas that stimulate thinking about the effective use of technology in K–grade 6 classrooms. This article describes a set of lessons where sixth graders use virtual pattern blocks to develop proportional reasoning. Students' work with the virtual manipulatives reveals a variety of creative solutions and promotes active engagement. The author suggests that technology is most effective when coupled with worthwhile mathematical tasks and rich classroom discussions.
research matters for teachers
Kristen N. Bieda and Jerilynn Lepak
Research explores how to help students build from, instead of building with, examples when justifying mathematical ideas.
Terri L. Kurz
After analyzing advertising claims regarding water shooters, students present their findings.
“when will I ever use this?”
A package of three golf balls provides the real-world scenario for this ratio and area activity.
Kathy A. Bacon
Presented with a variety of palatable, inquiry-based, creative learning choices in geometry, this teacher and her fifth graders found tremendous satisfaction in meeting target goals for reasoning skills and taking important “next steps” in learning.