Investigations Blog

Incomplete, inarticulate, ill-formed, incorrect: Brilliant!

Over the last decade, much of my work has been focused on mathematical argument in the elementary classroom. Observing in our collaborating classrooms, I was struck again and again by how teachers supported students to build on each other’s incomplete ideas. Constructing a mathematical argument is difficult and challenging for elementary students and, therefore, necessarily collaborative. When students are learning what it means to make an argument, not just about the solution to a single...

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From “Uh Oh!” to “Aha!”

Over 20 years ago, just out of college, I applied for a job at TERC after seeing an ad in a newspaper. A project called Investigations in Number, Data, and Space was looking for a classroom observer. I had spent most of my college years volunteering in an elementary classroom once a week, so I sent a writing sample – from a course I’d taken with Ted Sizer – and got an interview. The last step? Meet Susan Jo Russell, the Principal Investigator of the project. We chatted and...

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Curriculum Matters

Picture it! J.M. Ullom ES, Las Vegas, NV, 5th grade classroom, 1992-1993. (Yes, there are schools in Las Vegas!) It was my 11th year of teaching. I’d taught 7th and 8th grade on two Native American Nations in Arizona, and had been teaching 5th grade in Las Vegas for four years. I’d been fortunate enough to receive high-quality professional development and was part of a math leadership project focused on Grades 3-5. I was slowly changing the way I taught mathematics, relying less and less on...

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It’s Not What’s New; It’s What’s Old

People often ask me, “What’s your favorite part of the new edition of Investigations?” My first inclination is to blurt out “That it’s finished!”, despite the fact that the development stage has been over for almost a year. While many aspects of the revision were engaging and rewarding, I’m sure that someday soon I will not cringe when I hear the word deadline! That said, I think I can honestly say that my favorite part of the 3rd edition is also my favorite part of the 1st and...

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Welcome to our Blog!

We – the staff of the Investigations Center for Curriculum and Professional Development – are thrilled that the new Investigations 3 website is live, and are particularly excited to now have a blog. We have been reading lots of blogs in anticipation of starting our own. (The MathBlogosphere is wide-ranging and thriving!) At the moment, our plan is to blog at least once a week. Some posts will be about Investigations, and some will not. Authorship will rotate among our authors and staff. The...

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