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ERIC Number: EJ1029364
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Teaching with the Mathematical Practices in Mind
Billings, Esther M. H.; Coffey, David C.; Golden, John; Wells, Pamela J.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v19 n2 p100-107 Sep 2013
How can the use of the Standards for Mathematical Practice in the classroom be supported? Professional developers and teacher educators strive to support teachers as they seek to answer this question. When teachers personally and intentionally experience the practices and reflect on how the practices support and promote mathematical understanding, they will be better equipped to explore these same strategies with their own students in meaningful ways. The authors of this article believe that a workshop model is an effective vehicle for such support because it provides both mathematical learning and practice. They describe the workshop model and how it was used in a professional development context. They also explore how the model supported teachers' understanding of the Standards for Mathematical Practice, found in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) (CCSSI 2010). Specifically, they indicate that there were many opportunities to experience Practice 1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them and Practice 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others (CCSSI 2010, p. 6). The authors also discuss ways to transfer this knowledge to the middle school classroom. The workshop model is an established form of instruction, extensively used in language arts (Cambourne 1988; Keene and Zimmermann 1997). Recently, it has been considered a viable approach in other disciplines, including mathematics and science (Heuser 2002). With its value in mind, they modified the literacy workshop to fit their vision of immersing learners in what it means to do mathematics. The authors' adaptation of the workshop model includes four key components: (1) making connections; (2) focus; (3) activity; and (4) reflection. These areas provide a deliberate structure for critical thinking. Each component is explained in detail herein. This model promotes understanding mathematics, connecting knowledge, and communicating this understanding through appropriate arguments, reasoning, and reflection.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A