CMP Graduate Students Talk Research at CREATE Mini-Conference

  • Feb 26, 2015
  • news, Graduate, STEM, Research, Student Work, Formative Assessment, Arc of Learning

CMP Graduate students participated in the 2015 CREATE Mini-Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was ENERGY for STEM. The focus was new education research and grants for K-16 and allowed for faculty, postdocs, graduate students, teachers, administrators, and other educational leaders to share and discuss their work and research.

The three posters submitted by CMP Graduate students focused on formative assessment, student work, and the Arc of Learning.

Formative Assessment

Amy Ray shows the Formative Assessment poster

This poster describes CMP's characterization of formative assessment as an on-going process that occurs before, during, and after instruction by which teachers anticipate, gather and analyze evidence of student learning, and adapt their teaching to meet students’ needs across the instructional model of Launch-Explore-Summarize.

Student Work

Kevin Lawrence talks about Student Work Poster

There exists an extensive research base on the role of student work in developing teachers’ mathematical and pedagogical understanding in professional learning situations and the benefit from examining student work by reflecting on classroom practice. Additionally, when teachers facilitate mathematical discourse around student work, students are more likely to take ownership of and retain their understandings that emerge from classroom discussions. Student work however, comes in many forms. Many teachers collect and use work generated by students during a class period to build and extend mathematical ideas during class discussions. In other cases, the teacher anticipates strategies that highlight an important insight or misconception, but because the class does not generate written artifacts, the teacher plants the strategy as being student-generated in the class discussion. A third case, and increasingly more prevalent, is when student work appears in mathematics curriculum materials as a way to focus attention to particular ideas or strategies. The research presented on this poster focuses on this third category, namely curriculum-embedded student work. Specifically, this work aims to identify the opportunities for students to engage in curriculum-embedded student work, along with describing the nature and intended mathematical purpose of the student work.

Arc of Learning

Conversation around the CMP Poster

Researchers and policy writers have advocated for the importance of curricular coherence. The purpose of this study is to move beyond surface-level features of coherence by attending to the mathematics embedded within problems and investigating how key mathematical concepts are developed across sequences of problems into mathematical storylines. The Arc of Learning framework consists of five phases, moving from informal to formal mathematics: Introduction (Setting the Scene), Exploration (Mucking About), Analysis (Going Deeper), Synthesis (Looking Across), and Abstraction (Going Beyond). The research question that guides our study investigates how the key mathematical concepts and methods in middle school curriculum materials were developed within sequences of problems. Findings of the study will report on the overall development of the mathematical ideas embedded across a sequence of problems for the curriculum units. The work suggests that the Arc of Learning can be a potentially useful tool as it provides: (a) an overall and detailed view of development of mathematical ideas will become more transparent, and (b) support in describing student learning goals both at a lesson level at a unit level.

For more information, please visit the CREATE Mini-Conference website.