Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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CommunicationSession 02 Overviewtab atab btab cTab dtab eReference
Part D

Applying Communication
  Location Graphs | Problem Reflection | Classroom Practice | Assessing Student Understanding | Communication in Action | Classroom Checklist | Your Journal


Classroom communication can help a teacher assess students' mathematical understanding. Here are the mathematical objectives for this lesson and some questions that a teacher might use to assess student understanding:

Objective: Students will explain their reasoning for choosing the number of people present at each hour.
Question: How did you decide how many people would be present at your location during each hour?

Objective: Students should demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the numbers of people that would be in that particular location during a 24-hour period.
Question: How could you organize your data? How do you know that your number for each hour is reasonable?

Objective: Students will construct a graph using their recorded data.
Question: Show this data using a graph. What kind of graph can you use? What important elements need to be included on your graph?

Objective: Students will explain that the axes are labeled correctly because the number of people depends on the time of day; the time of day does not depend on the number of people.
Question: How did you determine how to label each axis? What would happen if the labels were reversed?

It is also important for students to reflect on the group process, including their role in the group and the group's actions and findings. Therefore, there is an additional objective to consider:

Objective: Students will work in groups to investigate possible answers, ask relevant questions, make arguments, and justify their results.
Question: How did your group work together? What role did you play in the group process? What mathematical thinking did you contribute to the group's thinking? Which ideas from your group members helped you understand the problem better?

Successful communication in the classroom is not limited to applying a list of objectives that helps you assess a student's ability to arrive at the correct answer -- it's also about how students communicate their ideas, even if the ideas are incorrect. The questions above are just some of those you could ask to assess your lesson objectives. What other questions might you ask?

Next  Think about using this problem in a classroom

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