Bringing It All Together
Features of Mathematics Lessons That Support Disciplinary Literacy
If mathematics classrooms were to be designed to strengthen and support student engagement in disciplinary literacy practices that are consistent with the expectations of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), including the Standards for Mathematical Practice, what would mathematics lessons need to look like? Here are some components that might be important:
- Rich non-routine problems or tasks addressing the mathematics students are expected to learn.
- Students working together in small groups to make sense of the problems or tasks they are solving and the mathematics they are examining.
- Teachers circulating as students work in order to hear their thinking, look over any written work that is being created, and ask the kinds of questions that support and deepen sense making.
- Whole-class discussions that bring together the thinking that emerged as students worked together, including the sharing of written work, for deeper analysis.
- Students providing some kind of written record indicating what they’ve learned during the lesson.
These components provide opportunities for all students to read, write, speak, and listen like mathematicians.
As you view the following videos, watch for the lesson components named above and consider the extent to which you see evidence that students are engaged in disciplinary literacy practices. Also pay attention to the extent to which these components seem to engage all students, not just some students, in these practices.