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Engaging Tasks + Student Discussion = Math Success

Research tells us that engaging students in challenging tasks coupled with discussion of solutions and approaches is essential for building conceptual understanding, problem solving, reasoning, and other habits of mind essential for learning and using mathematics effectively. But what tasks should you use? And how do you orchestrate a class discussion that is more than just “show and tell”? Participants in this interactive workshop will address these questions by analyzing artifacts of practice, including tasks, classroom video clips, and samples of student work.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Identify characteristics of tasks that promote conceptual understanding and standards for mathematical practice (e.g. problem-solving, reasoning).
  2. Learn strategies to facilitate discussions that advance the math learning of entire class by analyzing and comparing student approaches and argument.
  3. Learn strategies for using engaging task development and resulting class discussions as the foundation for teacher development through collaboration.



Dave Barnes, Assoc Exec Dir for Research, Learning & Dev, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

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