Describing and Explaining

This session will focus on the kinds of mathematical talk your students engage in during your class, and in particular in the key difference between “describing” and “explaining.”

It is essential that you complete this pre-work prior to the session. Without the pre-work, you will not be able to receive credit for the workshop.

What you need to do:

At some point during your class, provide your students with a meaningful mathematical problem. How you adminster the problem is up to you: you can build a lesson around it; it can simply be a discussion within your GP; you could give as extra credit after an assessment; you could even have a small group of students work on it during your prep hour. The key is that the students working on the problem represent your “average” students. Their mastery should fit with the overall master you see in your tracker.

Please record the conversation you have with your students about the problem. If it feels more comfortable to have this conversation one-on-one with a student, please feel free. Ideally, you would digitally record this, but if that’s not possible, capture in writing what occurred/was said.


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