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April 2013, Volume 18, Issue 8

FEATURES

Framing Measurement: An Art Gallery Installation
Sarah B. Bush, Karen S. Karp, Victoria Miller Bennett, Liz Popelka, and Jennifer Nadler
An interdisciplinary activity connects mathematics and art from The Barnes Foundation museum in Philadelphia.

Sweet Work with Fractions- FREE PREVIEW!
Natalya Vinogradova and Larry Blaine
The Maximum Chocolate Party game requires students to divide and compare fractions in a practical and concrete context.

Beyond the Write Answer: Mathematical Connections
Leigh Haltiwanger and Amber M. Simpson
Allowing students to write in mathematics class can promote critical thinking, illustrate an awareness of mathematical connections, and result in clear communication as they share ideas comfortably with peers.
Second Look:
Writing and Communication

Posing Cognitively Demanding Tasks to All Students
Rachel Lambert and Despina A. Stylianou
One middle school teacher developed classroom routines to make challenging questions accessible to all learners in her class.

Second Look - Writing and Communication

The Write Stuff: Producing a How-To Book
Help students articulate their mathematical learning through writing.

Putting Mathematical Discourse in Writing
A problem-solving pen pal project between preservice teachers and sixth graders presented a lens through which a sixth-grade teacher could view students’ work and her instruction.

Assessing Understanding through Reasoning Books
My Mathematical Reasoning Book  can help students communicate their thought processes to a larger audience. To work effectively, a plan of action requires focused and deliberate instruction. Additional problems are appended online.

Illuminations Lesson: Mathematics as Communication

 

This activity was created to encourage students to observe and examine the world around them. It helps students use mathematics to model real-world problems, to reason mathematically, to communicate mathematically, and to solve problems. In particular, it helps them read and interpret graphs and organize and describe data.

Communication Standard for Grades 6-8
The middle-grades mathematics teacher should strive to establish a communication-rich classroom in which students are encouraged to share their ideas and to seek clarification until they understand. In such a classroom community, communication is central to teaching and learning mathematics and to assessing students' knowledge. The focus in such classrooms is trying to make sense of mathematics together. Explaining, questioning, debating, and sense making are thus natural and expected activities. To achieve this kind of classroom, teachers need to establish an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, which can be gained by supporting students as they assume substantial responsibility for their own mathematics learning and that of their peers. When teachers build such an environment, students understand that it is acceptable to struggle with ideas, to make mistakes, and to be unsure. This attitude encourages them to participate actively in trying to understand what they are asked to learn because they know that they will not be criticized personally, even if their mathematical thinking is critiqued.