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Setting Math Norms to Promote Math Reasoning and Modeling

Developing Mathematical Hearts and Minds

Learning is a cultural activity that is facilitated by the social interaction among the members in the learning community. One of the most important ways to impact the teaching and learning of mathematics is by creating the optimal learning environment and classroom culture by setting the norms for math learning. Our framework for setting norms is called “Developing Mathematical Hearts and Minds” because it is equally important to develop a productive disposition for mathematics in our “hearts” as it is important to develop a mathematical “mind.” We asked teachers what norms were important in their classroom, and the top eight norms were as follows:

  • 1. Be respectful when working individually and collaboratively.
  • 2. Share your strategy and try another person’s strategy.
  • 3. Persevere through problem solving.
  • 4. Embrace mistakes as springboards to understanding.
  • 5. Reflect and think about your thinking metacognition.
  • 6. Be accountable for your work.
  • 7. Ask questions.
  • 8. Justify your answer.

The following chapter will describe the important practices that develop teachers’ and students’ productive dispositions toward mathematics and at the same time deepen their mathematical proficiency in teaching and learning mathematics.

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