INTRODUCTION TO MODULE 4

Whole class discussion is one of the most frequently used teaching strategy. A key challenge that mathematics teachers face is to orchestrate whole-class discussions either in the launching phase (when the teacher introduces the students to the task) or in the synthesizing phase of a lesson (when the teacher discusses students’ answers or solutions). The complexity lies in planning for a worthwhile mathematical discussion that takes into account students’ ideas and thinking.

In the launching phase the teacher has the chance to engage students in both the context and the mathematical ideas of a task and make the task accessible to the students. It is important the teacher to anticipate how students may interpret the task and the difficulties they may face. Monitoring students’ queries or ideas and providing feedback that give students’ space to work on the task themselves is a challenge for the teacher.

In the synthesizing phase the teacher builds on the personal and collective sense making of students. In this phase the teacher has the opportunity to engage the entire class in pulling together essential mathematical ideas. This needs to extend beyond a mere sharing of students’ strategies. A rich, whole class discussion in the synthesizing phase supports students to provide explanations and justifications and to develop further their mathematical understanding. A challenge for the teacher is how to sequence students’ responses to maximize the chances of achieving the teaching goals and to draw connections between all students’ mathematical ideas.

This module aims to introduce issues related to whole class discussion in mathematics lessons and support teachers to facilitate classroom discussions that balance differentiation and mathematical challenge. Focusing on the practice of launching and synthesizing, the teachers are expected to inquire their own practice related to whole class discussion. In particular, they are going to reflect on classroom incidents offered in the module, discuss and interpret them in collaboration with the other teachers in the group. Moreover, they will produce video clips from their own teaching and share in the group. In this module we will encounter four cases of practice that are presented in the next table:


Symbols used throughout the course materials

Course Curriculum

INTRODUCTION
MTS4 – ORCHESTRATING A WHOLE CLASS DISCUSSION THAT FOSTERS MATHEMATICAL CHALLENGE AND DIFFERENTIATION Unlimited
CASE OF PRACTICE 1
MT4S – CP1 – Launching the task: Making the task accessible to students Unlimited
MT4S – CP1 – Opening Activity Unlimited
MT4S – CP1 – Activity 1 Unlimited
MT4S – CP1 – Activity 2 Unlimited
MT4S – CP1 – Activity 3 Unlimited
MT4S – CP1 – Connections to (my) Practice Unlimited
MT4S – CP1 – Closing Activity Unlimited
CASE OF PRACTICE 2
MTS4 – CP2 – Launching the task: Discussing key mathematical ideas Unlimited
MT4S – CP2 – Opening Activity Unlimited
MT4S – CP2 – Activity 1 Unlimited
MT4S – CP2 – Activity 2 Unlimited
MT4S – CP2 – Activity 3 Unlimited
MT4S – CP2 – Connections to (my) Practice Unlimited
MT4S – CP2 – Closing Activity Unlimited
CASE OF PRACTICE 3
MT4S – CP3 – Sharing students’ solutions in whole class discussion Unlimited
MT4S – CP3 – Opening Activity Unlimited
MT4S – CP3 – Activity 1 Unlimited
MT4S – CP3 – Activity 2 Unlimited
MT4S – CP3 – Activity 3 Unlimited
MT4S – CP3 – Connections to (my) Practice Unlimited
MT4S – CP3 – Closing Activity Unlimited
CASE OF PRACTICE 4
MT4S – CP4 – Synthesizing: Reflection and Mathematical Extensions Unlimited
MT4S – CP4 – Opening Activity Unlimited
MT4S – CP4 – Activity 1 Unlimited
MT4S – CP4 – Activity 2 Unlimited
MT4S – CP4 – Activity 3 Unlimited
MT4S – CP4 – Connections to (my) Practice Unlimited
MT4S – CP4 – Closing Activity Unlimited
EXTRA MATERIALS
EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS Unlimited
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER Unlimited
SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL Unlimited
APPENDIX
Comparing Class and Grade Levels across Countries Unlimited
ASSESMENT QUESTIONS
Final Assignment Questions – Module 4 Unlimited

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