Investigations Blog

Creating an Equitable Math Learning Community: Getting Started in Unit 1

A focus on the development of students’ mathematical ideas requires the establishment of an equitable mathematics learning community. Such a community embodies the commitment to provide access to rigorous, cognitively demanding mathematics for each and every student, especially those who have been historically marginalized in mathematics classrooms—Black, Latinx, Emergent Bilingual, gender- and neurologically-diverse learners. This work begins at the start of the school year (and in the...

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Using Teacher Self Reflection to Foster Equitable Learning Communities

Teaching is an academic and human endeavor that involves continuous cycles of interactions of the instructional core; students, content, and teachers. There are many factors that influence our decisions about what and how to teach the children in our care. We attend to the development of children’s mathematical ideas, and the strengthening of students’ math identities, confidence, and agency. Responsive teaching also means attending to the development of our own math knowledge and uncovering...

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What Do Your Students Think About Math?: Student Reflection as a Tool for Finding Out

“An equitable learning community requires first and foremost knowing who our students are and using that knowledge to situate math learning in the lived experiences of students, building on the knowledge and skills each student brings to school and acknowledging and welcoming students’ identities into the classroom.” (Godfrey, 2021.) Many teachers use formative assessment, exit tickets, journal writing and/or other strategies to gather information about how students think about specific math...

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A Space for All of Us: Setting Up the Classroom Environment

“The space has to be a sort of aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes, and cultures of the people who live in it.” – Loris Malaguzzi, The Hundred Languages of Children. The start of the school year is an exciting time for teachers, children, and families. I remember the joy of putting together an inviting, student-centered room. Early in my teaching career this meant shopping for folders, name tags, borders and cutouts, and countless hours designing bulletin boards and displays....

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Developing Classroom Agreements in the Investigations 3 Classroom

Our first blog about classroom agreements discussed ways to work with students to establish agreements that support the development of an equitable and inclusive mathematics learning community. In this blog, we share some of the ways the Investigations curriculum supports teachers in doing that work. In the first few days and weeks of school, students in Investigations classrooms work independently, with partners, and in small groups; make choices and use materials during Math Workshop; and...

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Classroom Agreements: Creating and Sustaining an Equitable Learning Community

The beginning of the year is an exciting time; one that offers us an opportunity to get to know our students. As we learn their interests, cultures, developing identities, and preferences we are simultaneously thinking about how we can create an equitable learning community that values and respects varied ideas, competencies, and contributions. A critical component of an inclusive classroom community is the development of classroom agreements. Many of us remember the beginning of school as a...

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Establishing an Equitable Learning Community in the Investigations Classroom

The question is not whether all students can succeed in mathematics but whether the adults organizing mathematical learning opportunities can alter traditional beliefs and practices to promote success for all. (NCTM 2014 Principles to Actions) The development of children’s mathematical ideas is at the heart of the Investigations curriculum which supports teachers in deepening their understanding of the mathematics they teach and how their students come to understand it. Equitable learning...

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A Framework for Reflecting about Equity in the Investigations Mathematics Classroom

For the past two years the project staff of the Investigations Center for Curriculum and Professional Development has been studying literature that addresses issues of equity, access, identity, and agency in mathematics education (for example, see Aguirre et. al., 2013; Ball, 2018; Gutiérrez, 2007; Hammond, 2015; Kay, 2018; Ladson-Billings, 2006; Nasir, 2016; NCSM & TODOS, 2016). During this study, we have been asking ourselves: How can a mathematics curriculum be a tool for anti-racist...

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