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  1. Alden Edson
  2. Research Assistant Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Michigan State University
  1. KRISTEN BIEDA
  2. http://www.kbiedamathed.com
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Michigan State University
  1. Chad Dorsey
  2. https://concord.org/about/staff/chad-dorsey
  3. President and CEO
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Concord Consortium
  1. Nathan Kimball
  2. Curriculum Developer
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Concord Consortium
  1. Elizabeth Phillips
  2. Senior Academic Specialist
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Michigan State University
Facilitators’
Choice

Enhancing Middle Grades Students' Capacity to Develop and Communicate Their M...

NSF Awards: 1620934

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

The goal of the project is to design and test a digital curriculum platform to help middle school students deepen and make visible their understanding of mathematics through collaboration. In the digital collaborative platform, we have embedded the Connected Mathematics3 curriculum, a problem-based curriculum where students investigate big mathematical ideas through inquiry-oriented problem situations. The learning environment is designed to support students in making sense of mathematics with each other as they construct, manipulate, and interpret shared representations of mathematics in real time, in all phases of a lesson.

An important tool for students’ thinking during problem solving is students’ generated inscriptions. Inscriptions refer to external representations of thinking that exist in material form (e.g., text, drawings, graphs, tables) where meanings are publicly shared and negotiated among students. The digital collaborative learning environment supports students to construct inscriptions, share their thinking with others, access and incorporate others’ inscriptions, and track their conceptual growth of big mathematical ideas over time.

The development and research project is guided by three research questions: (1) What features of the digital learning environment help students to produce and refine inscriptions of their learning as they explore mathematics problems? (2) How does the construction, manipulation, and interpretation of inscriptions change over time? (3) Does evidence of student understanding of big ideas of mathematics become more sophisticated given sustained classroom-based engagement with inscriptions?

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