“Communication is not a passing fad! [It] belongs in the very heart of every math class,” says this fourth-grade teacher from Missouri.
Robin Lynn Kinman
Carole Greenes, Linda Schulman and Rika Spungin
Recently, a great deal of interest has been shown in communication in mathematics. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in its Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (1989), states that at all grade levels, students must learn to communicate mathematically. Science for All Americans: A Project 2061 Report (American Association for the Advancement of Science 1988) describes effective teaching of mathematics as teaching that emphasizes the development of students' abilities to communicate clearly in both oral and written work. Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the Twentyfirst Century (Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development 1989, 43) encourages middle-grade teachers “to promote a spirit of inquiry and to stimulate students to think about and communicate ideas.”
To the Members of the National Council of Mathematics Teachers
I deeply appreciate the honor which yon bestowed upon me when yon elected me president of your organization, and I am also mindful of the responsibility which this office carries. It is my hope that we may further the organization and lay plans for the improvement of the teaching of mathematics as a mean of training for citizenship. In this I earnestly solicit the cooperation of mathematics teachers throughout the country.
Kate Raymond, Melissa Gunter and Kansas Conrady
The strategy of question generating can be used to develop communication and metacognitive skills in students, thus leading to more meaningful discourse.
Judith Mumme and Nancy Shepherd
Edited by Thomas E. Rowan
The dictionary's definition of communication includes such phrases as succeeding in conveying information, having social dealings with, making connections, and making known. Our mathematical definition of communication parallels the general definition. We want our students to convey their ideas about mathematics, deal with it in social contexts, make connections, and make known their thinking as they learn and become involved in mathematics.
Mathematical communication among students should receive increased emphasis in the classroom according to NCTM's Curriculum and Evaluation Standarda for School Mathematics (1989). Two modes of student communication are evident in the mathematics classroom, the expressive mode and the receptive mode, as identified by Del Campo and Clements (1987).
The importance of mathematics communication that builds on the lives and experiences of African American students in urban schools, thereby creating additional opportunities to leant and explore mathematics, is the focus of this article.
Rebecca R. Robichaux and Paulette R. Rodrigue
Rigami has been used frequently in teaching geometry to promote the development of spatial sense; to make multicultural connections with mathematical ideas; and to provide students with a visual representation of such geometric concepts as shape, properties of shapes, congruence, similarity, and symmetry. Such activities meet the Geometry Standard (NCTM 2000), which states that students should be engaged in activities that allow them to “analyze characteristics and properties of twoand three-dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships” and to “use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems” (p. 41). This article begins with an explanation of the importance of communication in the mathematics classroom and then describes a middle school mathematics lesson that uses origami to meet both the Geometry Standard as well as the Communication Standard.
Alice J. Gill
The NCTM's Curriculum and Evaluation Standards (1989) supports the idea that problems can be solved in more than one correct way. This multiple-strategy approach contains the seeds of motivation, success, and mind stretching. The curriculum standards that focus on reasoning and communication skills are integral to delivering mathematics education that generates the cre ative, problem-solving, divergent thinker that the business community would like to employ.
Communication plays an important role in the construction and connection of ideas. But what is mathematical communication? In what ways, besides words, can mathematical thinking be communicated? What do you see as the value of communication in mathematical learning?