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ERIC Number: EJ781000
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Making the Most of Mathematical Discussions
Staples, Megan; Colonis, Melissa M.
Mathematics Teacher, v101 n4 p257-261 Nov 2007
The importance of mathematical discourse and its connection to developing conceptual understanding, communication, and reasoning is well documented throughout the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM's) "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics" (2000). This article highlights the differences between two kinds of discussions: sharing and collaborative; and provides insight into planning mathematically focused, collaborative discussions. The authors illuminate three key aspects of the pedagogy of teachers who were successful in consistently organizing whole-class discussions: (1) positioning of students for discussion; (2) managing wrong answers; and (3) connecting and linking across ideas. These teachers created learning environments aligned with NCTM's vision of good practice, where students were given conceptually demanding tasks, worked together to develop ideas, and consistently were asked to make sense of mathematics.
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: Adult Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A