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Mathematical Practices Activity

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This activity supports facilitating Common Core Mathematical Practices in the classroom. It provides teachers with an opportunity to explore how the Mathematical Practices work in their own lives, and how they support facilitation of the Practices with their own students. by Linda M. Platas

Activity for Teacher Educators

Participants should read Practicing the Mathematical Practices before beginning this activity. This can be assigned as homework prior to the session, or read during the session before starting the activity. Participants should also be given the questions found in the accompanying worksheet and PowerPoint slide before they read the article. Ask them to think about the questions as they read.

You can use the worksheet or PowerPoint slide (download below) during the activity or not, as suits your situation. 

Table talk
Ask participants to spend some time thinking about their answers to these questions prior to discussing the questions in their group. If using the worksheet, they can jot their thoughts down on that. Ask them to discuss their answers within their group, sharing both successes and challenges around the Mathematical Practices in their own lives and in the classroom. 

Group share
Call on groups to share their answers with the class. Participants' experience will cover a wide spectrum of abilities within these Mathematical Practices in their own lives and in classrooms. Allowing them to talk in a non-judgmental environment can set the stage for effective future conversations. Their answers will help you understand more about what sort of support they will need in order to use the Mathematical Practices in their classrooms.

Teacher Responses and Where to Take Them
Practicing the Mathematical Practices provides you with an opportunity to explore the ability of participants to support the development of fundamental Mathematical Practices that cross all mathematical domains. Some teachers believe that these practices begin at kindergarten or later. Help participants understand that these Mathematical Practices are useful over a child's entire lifespan, beginning in early childhood. Ask for examples of classroom support for the development of these practices when teachers report back to the group.
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