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Reflecting on Student Learning

It is through reflection that teachers continue to grow and to develop the kind of classroom environment that encourages all students to become independent, confident, and reflective learners. The following questions are all part of teacher reflections on the effectiveness of the classroom environment:

  • What do my students know? What are my students able to do? What is the evidence? How does this shape what I plan for tomorrow?
  • How do I help students to engage in the mathematical tasks, and how are the tasks effective in helping them learn mathematics? How do I provide opportunities for students to see the mathematical connections?
  • How do I use the activities to stimulate the richness of discussion that helps students to develop mathematical power?
  • How does the classroom discourse encourage learner independence? Curiosity? Mathematical thinking? Confidence? Disposition to do mathematics?
  • What can I do to ensure that the classroom environment suits every student and supports his or her mathematical development?

Many teachers write brief notes or comments on important ideas or suggestions for what worked and what to do differently the next time they teach the Unit. They use the classroom discussions, exit slips, homework, or Mathematical Reflections as benchmarks for student understanding. They reevaluate where they and their students are each day. They reflect on each student’s understanding, answering these questions:

  • What do I know about each student?
  • Is a particular student participating in class discussions?
  • Is he or she attempting or completing homework?
  • What evidence do I have of what my students learned?
  • How should this affect my instructional decisions?