Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
|The Communication Standard | Using Effective Questioning | Using Precise Language | Additional Methods | Goals | Your Journal|
We've explored examples of communication and discussed two elements of the standard in detail. You may not need any more convincing that this is a valuable element in your practice, but here goes: Why emphasize good communication? Simple: it improves student reasoning by helping them test the meaning they
are attaching to ideas. It also provides a means to shape conjectures and try out convincing arguments. In a broader context, correctly interpreting and communicating mathematical concepts is a valuable workplace and citizenship skill.
Talking about reasoning to another person helps solidify and clarify a thinking process. However, there is a temptation for teachers to
"interpret" what students say, because they already know what the answer should be. In student-to-student communication, the students don't know the answer and aren't waiting for the proper response. They are formulating their understanding together.
One of the most effective ways for students to learn mathematics is by asking and answering questions, gathering data, making conjectures, revising those conjectures, and explaining their thinking. Communication is a key ingredient in this process, enabling their growth as mathematical thinkers.
Watch the video segment (duration 0:31) at left to hear reflections from teacher William Masalski.
As our students enter the working world of tomorrow, increasingly they will be required to work together to solve problems and justify their reasoning to others. There are more jobs that require a high level of mathematical ability and, in particular the ability to communicate about quantitative data and mathematical techniques effectively and accurately. Outside the workplace, daily life often requires communicating about and acting on mathematical data, in everything from making consumer choices to interpreting poll results on national questions.
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