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Let's Talk: A Teacher's Journey in Getting Kids to Talk about Algebra 1

Taufa, Jennifer Millard
Abstract
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Why can’t these kids get this? After data meetings and planning sessions, this question can pop up when scores are not what teachers expect. This action-research project looked deeply at one teacher’s journey in trying to answer this question by introducing discussions in Algebra 1 classes. One of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice states students should be developing the ability to critique their reasoning and other’s reasoning when discussing mathematics. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics published Principles to Actions to help teachers develop the skills needed to prepare students to become deep math thinkers. One of those skills teachers need to develop is leading mathematical discourse. This project examined the literature on leading mathematical discussions, and then shared what was learned from applying this research in an Algebra 1 classroom. Through journaling, listening to classroom audio recordings, and working with an outside observer, this teacher examined discussion strategies and “teacher moves” that helped get discussions started around a mathematical goal and then what it took to maintain engaging discourse. If students can talk about it, maybe they can start to get it—let’s talk.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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Keywords
mathematics discussions , discourse in mathematics classrooms , meaningful math discussions in mathematics classrooms
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