Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Reasoning and ProofSession 04 OverviewTab atab btab ctab dtab eReference
Part A

Observing Student Reasoning and Proof
  Introduction | Problem: Building Rafts with Rods | Solution: Building Rafts with Rods | Student Work #1 | Questions and Answers #1 | Student Work Reflection #1 | Student Work #2 | Questions and Answers #2 | Student Work Reflection #2 | Observe Classroom | Classroom Practice | Your Journal
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view video


Now watch an extended video excerpt (duration 3:44) at left of the class you have just seen as they work on the Building Rafts with Rods problem.

This problem encourages students to find a pattern or structure for the surface area of the raft as they add additional rods. The goal is for students to move from the more obvious recursive pattern -- a pattern in which succeeding results are based on the prior result -- to a general pattern for any given number of rods. Students use concrete materials as a representation to help them see how the pattern is growing. They communicate their ideas to one another to help test conjectures, refine ideas, and develop formulas. The teacher's role -- that is, phrasing questions to guide students, rather than telling them what to do -- is a critical part of developing reasoning skills.

After you have completed the activity and watched the video segment, reflect on the following questions:

  • How does the structure of the lesson encourage reasoning among the students?
  • What is the evidence of student reasoning?
  • Do students justify their answers? How?
  • What parts of the reasoning process are the students struggling with?
  • Is there evidence of proof for the general formula?
  • How does the teacher guide the students without telling them what to do?

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