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Supporting Research

  • Type: Comparison study with a Participant Group, who participated in the online course, and a Comparison Group who had not taken the course but worked in the same school systems as the course participants.

    Data Sources:  Pre/post problems for teachers in a context of student thinking or classroom instruction regarding mathematical claims; and pre/post problems for students designed to capture students’ algebraic thinking in ways consistent with the goals of the program

    Findings: Teachers in the Participant Group improved significantly in the breadth of claims they could generate and articulate, their representation of mathematical ideas, and their use of mathematical language and notation.  Teachers in the Comparison Group showed no improvement on pre/post program problem sets.  Student learning gains in the Participant Group were similar to or exceeded those of the Comparison Group, with the most significant improvement involving their ability to explain their own thinking.

Structure: 10 sessions in either an online/webinar format or face-to-face study group format

Learning Activities: discussing chapters from the course text, doing mathematics activities designed for adult learners, and writing student thinking assignments, analyzing teacher efforts to engage their students with course ideas

Learning Outcomes:

·         Understand and look for generalizations implicit in student work in number and operations
·         Bring students’ attention to such generalizations
·         Help students articulate general conjectures
·         Have students create visual representations of their conjectures as a step toward proving them

Attend to the range of learners in the class as they engage in these activities


Susan Jo Russell, Deborah Schifter, Virginia Bastable, and Published by Heinemann

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