Do you use group work in your mathematics class? What does it look like? What do you expect your students to do when they work together? Have you ever wondered what your students think they are supposed to do?
“Mr. Webel, is this right?” As a high school teacher, I was asked this question daily. I never knew quite how to answer. On the one hand, I wanted my students to make sense of and provide mathematical reasons for their answers rather than simply take my word for it. On the other hand, what was I supposed to say—“I refuse to answer” or “I don't know”? These responses felt disingenuous, as if I were keeping knowledge from students simply for the purpose of watching them struggle.
Corey Webel and Samuel Otten
As new computation technologies become available, algebra teachers can choose to ban them, limit their use, or use them as an opportunity to reevaluate learning goals.
Corey Webel and Sheunghyun Yeo
In this article, we share results from a field experience model in which junior-year methods classes were held in an elementary school and preservice teachers (PSTs) worked with a single student (a “Math Buddy") on mathematics for 30 minutes per day. We focus on the development of PSTs’ skills for exploring children’s thinking and the structures and tools that we used to support this development. Data sources include screencast recordings of interactions with Math Buddies and written reflections completed by PSTs. Although the responsiveness of interactions varied across individuals and interactions, in general, PSTs showed improvements in exploring children’s thinking. We share implications of these findings for similar field experience models and for practice-based approaches to teacher education generally.
Corey Webel and Kimberly Anne Conner
In this article, we report on efforts to develop a set of Web-based teaching simulations within the LessonSketch platform to support shifts in how preservice elementary teachers (PSTs) enact and evaluate their questioning practices in response to specific examples of students' mathematical thinking. The simulations included storyboard depictions of classroom situations, along with prompts for the PSTs to first analyze mathematical thinking and then construct, select, and analyze the effects of possible teacher questions. Participants included 54 PSTs across 5 sections of a mathematics content/methods class. Data were analyzed to document how PSTs enacted and reflected on their questioning practices in the context of these LessonSketch simulations. In this article, we focus on 2 storyboard depictions of classroom situations and describe how each appeared to provide different opportunities for PSTs to revise their ideas about questioning.
Corey Webel, Erin Krupa, and Jason McManus
Contextual tasks such as the Milk problem and the Cupcake problem can illuminate operations with fractions, but not all visual models align with the standards.
Dan Battey, Tonya Bartell, Corey Webel, and Amanda Lowry
Recent international studies have found that teachers’ attitudes, biased against historically marginalized groups, predict lower student achievement in mathematics (e.g., ). It is not clear, however, if or how teachers’ racial attitudes affect their evaluation of students’ mathematical thinking to produce these effects. Using an experimental design, we conducted an online survey to examine the relationship between preservice teachers’ (PSTs) racial attitudes and their perceptions of students’ mathematical thinking. The survey used comparable videos, with similar mathematics content and student thinking, one including Black students and the other, White students. Findings show that PSTs evaluated Black students’ thinking less favorably compared with White students. Explicit, but not implicit, attitudes, as well as reported time spent in African American communities, were factors in how PSTs rated the quality of students’ mathematical thinking by race.