Student-Centered Math

Create transformative mathematics classrooms where students engage in problem-solving, discourse, application, and critical thinking

About Student-Centered Math

Topics:

  • Student-Centered Math in a Flexible Learning Environment

  • Fundamentals of Student-Centered Math

  • Mathematical Discourse

  • Scaffolding, Differentiating, and Choice

  • Using Representations and Reasoning

  • Math Language Routines

  • Humanizing Mathematics

  • The 5 Practices with Desmos

  • Just-in-Time Math Supports

  • Tech Tools for Math

Overview:

In a student-centered mathematics classroom, students connect mathematics to real-world concepts, explore multiple strategies and representations, use their own mathematical reasoning to show and explain the "why" as well as the "how," grow their understanding by clearly communicating their mathematical thinking, and persevere in problem-solving. Student-centered mathematics instruction engages all students through creativity, exploration, and collaboration. In a student-centered math classroom, teachers do more than show, tell, and correct. Student-centered teachers focus on planning strategically by rooting new concepts in prior knowledge; anticipating common errors and misconceptions to plan probing questions; using visual and concrete representations to support sense-making; carefully selecting purposeful tasks; and choosing instructional routines that support the mathematical agency and proficiency of all students.

What We Believe:

We believe that student-centered math instruction can transform instruction and can increase student proficiency. We believe that teachers need to be equipped with strategies and tools to create a student-centered math classroom that fosters student ownership, supports students to become confident math thinkers, and increases student engagement by connecting math to students' interests and identities. 

We believe that teachers need to be supported to plan strategically by carefully selecting mathematical learning experiences, supporting sense-making using mathematical representations and student discourse, and anticipating and monitoring student learning.

We believe that students should have opportunities to develop their mathematical ideas and language by exploring conceptual understandings rooted in prior knowledge first, and then developing procedural fluency over time. 

We believe that teachers need to be equipped with strategies and routines to promote mathematical discourse in the classroom in order to support students to share ideas, clarify understandings, and learn to see things from other perspectives.

Featured Strategies

Support students to enter the content by engaging in the I Notice/I Wonder protocol
Support students to enter the content by engaging in the I Notice/I Wonder protocol
Number talks support students to increase fluency by discussing and critiquing structure, patterns, and mathematical properties
Number talks support students to increase fluency by discussing and critiquing structure, patterns, and mathematical properties
Support students to reason mathematically by determining which figure, diagram, graph, or expression does not belong
Support students to reason mathematically by determining which figure, diagram, graph, or expression does not belong

Outcomes

BetterLesson's coaching and workshops are focused on specific topics.
I can implement student-centered math practices in a flexible learning environment by adjusting instruction and deliberately selecting strategies that work in synchronous and asynchronous learning environments.
I can implement student-centered math fundamentals in my classroom in order foster student ownership, support students to become confident math thinkers, and increase engagement by connecting to students' interests and identities.
I can promote mathematical discourse in my classroom in order to support students to share ideas, clarify understandings, and learn to see things from other perspectives.
I can scaffold, differentiate, and utilize choice in order to support students to meaningfully engage with mathematics.
I can use visual representations in order to support mathematical reasoning.
I can implement the Math Language Routines in order to support my students to communicate about their thinking and to make sense of math concepts.
I can humanize mathematics by building a positive math culture that shifts teacher and student beliefs about what math is and how people learn math."
I can use the Desmos Snapshots Tool in order to organize an inclusive, productive 5 Practices-style class discussion.
I can implement “just-in-time” supports such as vertical mapping, creating acceleration stations, and differentiating using tech tools, in order to accelerate my students’ math learning.
I can use tech tools strategically to support students to collaborate, communicate and visualize mathematical ideas.

Additional Reading

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