Classroom Stories

Classroom vignettes that showcase content and pedagogy.

February 7, 2020

Classroom Stories: Building Mathematical Structure

Paul shares a story about a surprising discovery he made while observing Emma and challenges us with a question: “How can we run a school in a way that gives teachers the time and support to watch and listen actively and to recognize, understand, and help children build on the underlying mathematical ideas?”
February 7, 2020

Classroom Stories: Building on Strengths

Teachers are often encouraged, sometimes compelled, to pre-assess students and then focus on their weaknesses. After all, what’s teaching if not helping a child move from weakness to strength? But this story is about a different approach: recognizing and using strengths that are camouflaged by apparent weakness or hidden behind real weakness.
February 7, 2020

Classroom Stories: Correct Answer, Wrong Question

Very often—in fact, it seems to me, most of the time—hesitations or wrong answers in math class that are attributed to weakness in mathematics are the fallout from some confusion of communication. The source is not in the mathematics. In fact, “wrong” answers are often correct answers to an entirely reasonable alternative interpretation of the question.
February 7, 2020

Classroom Stories: Oral and Written Mathematics

Paul describes the connection between oral and written mathematics through the eyes of six-year-old Aaron.