Students need opportunities to construct definitions in mathematics. We describe a sorting activity that can help students construct and refine definitions through discussion and argumentation. We include examples from our own work of planning and implementing this sorting activity to support constructing a definition of linear function.
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Erin E. Baldinger, Matthew P. Campbell and Foster Graif
Rebecca Vinsonhaler and Alison G. Lynch
This article focuses on students use and understanding of counterexamples and is part of a research project on the role of examples in proving. We share student interviews and offer suggestions for how teachers can support student reasoning and thinking and promote productive struggle by incorporating counterexamples into the classroom.
Krista L. Strand and Katie Bailey
K-5 teachers deepen their understanding of the Common Core content standards by engaging in collaborative drawing activities during professional development workshops.
Teruni Lamberg, Linda Gillette-Koyen and Diana Moss
Formative assessment helps teachers make effective instructional decisions to support students to learn mathematics. Yet, many teachers struggle to effectively use formative assessment to support student learning. Therefore, teacher educators must find ways to support teachers to use formative assessment to inform instruction. This case study documents shifts in teachers’ views and reported use of formative assessment that took place as they engaged in professional development (PD). The PD design considered the formative assessment cycle (Otero, 2006; Popham, 2008) and embedded it within a pedagogical framework (Lamberg, 2013, in press) that took into account the process of mathematics planning and teaching while supporting teachers to learn math content. Teachers restructured their definition of student understanding, which influenced how they interpreted student work and made instructional decisions. Teachers’ pre-PD instructional decisions focused on looking for right and wrong answers to determine mastery and focused on pacing decisions. Their post-PD decisions focused on student thinking and adapting teaching to support student thinking and learning. Implications for PD to support teachers to use formative assessment and research are discussed.
Bilge Yurekli, Mary Kay Stein, Richard Correnti and Zahid Kisa
A major influence on mathematics teachers’ instruction is their beliefs. However, teachers’ instructional practices do not always neatly align with their beliefs because of factors perceived as constraints. The purpose of this article is to introduce a new approach for examining the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices, an approach that focuses on specific instructional practices that support the development of students’ conceptual understanding and on mismatches that occur between what teachers believe to be important and what they report actually doing in the classroom. We also examine the relationship between teachers’ self-reported constraints and mismatches between teachers’ beliefs and practices.
Over the past 100 years, technology has evolved in unprecedented fashion. Calculators, computers, and smart phones have become ubiquitous, yet school mathematics experiences for many children still remain without many powerful technological tools for the exploration of mathematics. We consider the evolution of some tools as we imagine a future.
M. Kathleen Heid
Technological tools for mathematics instruction have evolved over the past fifty years. Some of these tools have opened the door to explorations of new mathematics. Features of others have made access to curricular mathematics more convenient. Thoughts on this evolution are shared.
The paper discusses technology that can help students master four triangle centers -- circumcenter, incenter, orthocenter, and centroid. The technologies are a collection of web-based apps and dynamic geometry software. Through use of these technologies, multiple examples can be considered, which can lead students to generalizations about triangle centers.
Mathematics Teacher Educators (MTEs) help preservice teachers in transitioning from students to teachers of mathematics. They support PSTs in shifting what they notice and envision to align with the collective vision encoded in the AMTE and NCTM standards. This study analyzes drawings and descriptions completed at the beginning and end of a one-year teacher education program—snapshots depicting optimized visions of teaching and learning mathematics. This study analyzed drawings-and-descriptions by cohort and by participants. The findings suggest that the task can be used as formative assessment to inform supports for specific PSTs such as choosing a cooperating teacher or coursework that challenges problematic beliefs. It can also be used as summative assessment to inform revision of coursework for the next cohort.
When we consider the school experience from the student perspective, we are open to change our practices to embody the very principles in which we believe.