This study investigates how the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle provides 11 novice mathematics teachers with the opportunity to learn about the high-leverage practice of launching a complex task. Findings suggest that the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle provides novice teachers with opportunities to reflect on how to launch a complex task within the context of their own instructional practice. Because of this opportunity to deeply consider the pedagogical resource and reflect on it, novice teachers’ instructional visions were a filter through which they interpreted key instructional strategies offered up during the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle. Further, the authors discuss three key takeaways for teacher educators who are attempting to implement the teacher learning cycle into their teacher education coursework.
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Dawn M. Woods and Anne Garrison Wilhelm
Maci C. Nelson
As educators, we can attest to how students are the best litmus test for the relevance of our subject matter. To close the gap between an abstract idea or the means to a good grade, we must contextualize our teaching within the issues most prevalent in our students' minds.
Nicole M. Wessman-Enzinger and Kristina M. Hofer
This article highlights the importance of re-defining units unconventionally with fractions. We provide three examples of tasks Grade 5 students engaged in; we highlight the creative ways that they flexibly re-defined units and engaged deeply with fractions. We offer suggestions for supporting unconventional units for promoting conceptual understanding of fractions.
Susie Katt and Megan Korponic
Problems to Ponder provides 28 varied, classroom-ready mathematics problems that collectively span PK-12, arranged in order of grade level. Answers to the problems are available online.
Allyson Hallman-Thrasher and Denise A. Spangler
We share ideas for preparing for and enacting high-cognitive demand tasks in ways that support students in articulating and justifying their ideas. We offer strategies for developing and posing several types of purposeful questions: (1) eliciting thinking, (2) generating ideas, (3) clarifying explanations, and (4) justifying claims.
Natalie L. F. Hobson
A quilt design repeating the use of Pythagoras's Theorem provides a variety of questions we can begin to ponder.
This article shares the learning experienced by my seventh-grade students during a lesson incorporating LEGO robotics into my mathematics class. I provide evidence of my students' learning, which represents how LEGO robotics can benefit students in the mathematics classroom to support engagement and development of understanding.
This article briefly describes the timing of the first concentrated study of algebra over the 100 years of NCTM, from a 9th-grade course taken by only about 1/5 of students to a course taken by virtually all students, with almost half taking it in 8th grade.
Randall E. Groth, Jennifer A. Bergner, Jathan W. Austin, Claudia R. Burgess and Veera Holdai
Undergraduate research is increasingly prevalent in many fields of study, but it is not yet widespread in mathematics education. We argue that expanding undergraduate research opportunities in mathematics education would be beneficial to the field. Such opportunities can be impactful as either extracurricular or course-embedded experiences. To help readers envision directions for undergraduate research experiences in mathematics education with prospective teachers, we describe a model built on a design-based research paradigm. The model engages pairs of prospective teachers in working with faculty mentors to design instructional sequences and test the extent to which they support children’s learning. Undergraduates learn about the nature of systematic mathematics education research and how careful analyses of classroom data can guide practice. Mentors gain opportunities to pursue their personal research interests while guiding undergraduate pairs. We explain how implementing the core cycle of the model, whether on a small or large scale, can help teachers make instructional decisions that are based on rich, qualitative classroom data.
Mathematical paradoxes often produce awe and wonder in the mathematics classroom. In this classroom episode, I share a paradoxical task, based on Simpson's Paradox, and its power as an intervention for a child diagnosed with ADHD. The Paradox leveraged his strengths to help him build understandings in proportional reasoning.