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ERIC Number: EJ907050
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Put the Right Spin on Student Work
Ely, Robert E.; Cohen, Jessica Strowbridge
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v16 n4 p208-215 Nov 2010
It is important to use rich problem-solving tasks to develop students' understanding of important mathematical ideas (NCTM 2000). Rich tasks are complex, nonalgorithmic, and nonroutine, requiring reasoning, problem solving, and communication of thinking. Evidence has shown that using rich tasks in student-centered classrooms is especially conducive to productive student learning. Yet research also shows that using complex tasks and developing student-centered classrooms can be intimidating and challenging. The "five practices" model outlines how to use student-generated work on such tasks to guide a productive whole-class discussion. Through the use of these five practices that emphasize planning and extending instructional decision time, the model makes student-centered discussions more manageable and more mathematically productive. These five practices, or "steps," include the following: Step 1: Anticipating student responses to tasks; Step 2: Monitoring student responses to tasks; Step 3: Selecting student responses to be shared in whole-class feedback discussions; Step 4: Purposefully sequencing the student work to be shared in a mathematically productive order; and Step 5: Helping students make connections between different students' responses and between student responses and important mathematical ideas. The authors also added a precursory first step: Step 0: Selecting the appropriate rich task to meet the intended mathematical goal(s). In this article, the authors show how they used these six practices to implement a rich probability task with preservice K-8 teachers. (Contains 6 figures.)
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: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6; Higher Education; Kindergarten
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A