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



How does a middle school student make sense of mathematical ideas? One way is by communicating about them. Talking and writing about our ideas clarifies and deepens our understanding of the mathematics. Listening to the ideas of others, comparing those ideas with our own by asking questions of others, and then fitting these newly formed ideas into our sense-making scheme also helps us develop deeper understanding. Communicating about mathematical ideas is critical to empowering students to make sense of mathematics.

In this session, we will illustrate and reflect on many different aspects of communication in mathematics.

Learning Objectives

This session shows you how to help students do the following:

  • Converse about mathematics
  • Read and write about mathematics
  • Improve their mathematical discourse
  • Analyze their written and oral communication
  • Discover their misconceptions

NCTM Communication Standard

Instructional programs . . . should enable all students to --

  • Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication
  • Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
  • Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others
  • Use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely

Principles and Standards of School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000). For more information on this process standard, see the NCTM Web site


Begin  Observe student work

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