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...read more
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...read more
Who Gets Challenged to Extend Their Thinking? A Conversation About Differentiation
In conversations about differentiation, strategies to scaffold learning for students who need more support, and strategies to extend the learning for students who are ready for more challenge often come up. One topic that is rarely considered however, is the importance of finding ways to offer students who typically need more support, opportunities to think about a task in ways that will extend their thinking about the mathematics. In the following conversation, excerpted from the Supporting...read more
What Does It Mean to be a Math Person?
“I’m just not a math person.” I don’t know how many times I heard this sentiment over the course of a three-day workshop kicking off a new project focused on professional development for paraeducators. But, it surprised me that it was Tonya saying, “I’m good at it, but I’m just not a math person.” In the three days we spent looking at student work, solving problems together, discussing strategies, and playing games, Tonya was comfortable, active, and engaged. She shared her strategies for...read more
What Does It Mean To Be Smart?
“Wow, you’re so smart.” These words drew my attention to a pair of 5th grade girls in a class I was visiting, who I’ll call Cassie and Sophia. They were mid-way through a turn and talk, each sharing her strategy for solving 84 x 59. I casually moved closer, curious about what prompted the comment and trying hard to see each girl’s strategy, recorded in their math journals. Upon hearing Cassie’s comment, Sophia responded in an inviting tone, “No, no. Explain to me what you did.” She...read more