“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.
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?
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 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.