The Fostering Algebraic Thinking Toolkit
A Guide for Staff Development
AUTHOR: Driscoll, Mark J. and Zawojewski, Judith
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Commenting on their experience at the 2002 Institute, participants cited a range of new insights and skills they gained, including how to
- design with purpose
- infuse facilitation into listening and questioning
- employ different strategies to manage group dynamics
- capitalize on diversity in mathematical thinking.
For more information about the Institute, contact Angela Martino at 617.969.7100, ext. 2524, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fostering Algebraic Thinking Toolkit is a set of professional development materials whose goal is to help mathematics teachers in grades 6-10 learn to identify, describe, and foster algebraic thinking in their students. Underlying the Toolkit is a core belief that good mathematics teaching begins with understanding how mathematics is learned. The focus here is on how students think about mathematics.
The Toolkit features four separate modules containing notes for the facilitator and reproducible blackline masters for the workshop participants. Each module concentrates on a different kind of classroom evidence and, in facilitated sessions, asks teachers to collect student and/or teacher data to share and analyze with colleagues. A module can be covered in four three-hour sessions.
The first module, Introduction and Analyzing Written Student Work gives participants an opportunity to analyze students' written work for evidence of algebraic thinking, and to become comfortable with the language of the algebraic habits of mind, before moving on to one of the other modules. Each of the three remaining modules builds on the work done here.
Listening to Students
Listening to Students, with its accompanying video, takes a step beyond analysis of written student work to help teachers deepen their understanding of students' mathematical ideas that often are not communicated on paper. They do this through a strategy called "the listening interview."
PUBLICATION DATE: 10/30/2001