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Five Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions Paperback – May 13, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1452202907 ISBN-10: 1452202907
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions provides teachers with
concrete guidance for engaging students in discussions that make the mathematics in classroom
lessons transparent to all. These instructional practices are extremely timely in light of the focus
on Standards for Mathematical Practice in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics,
and they will support teachers and students in engaging in these standards. This book will serve
as a valuable foundation in our upcoming professional development."
(Catherine Martin, Mathematics and Science Director 2011-04-15)

"Ensuring that students have the opportunity to reason mathematically is one of the most difficult
challenges that teachers face. A key component is creating a classroom in which discourse is
encouraged and leads to better understanding. Productive discourse is not an accident, nor can
it be accomplished by a teacher working on the fly, hoping for a serendipitous student exchange
that contains meaningful mathematical ideas. While acknowledging that this type of teaching
is demanding, Smith and Stein present five practices that any teacher can use to implement
coherent mathematical conversations. By using the five practices, teachers will learn to teach
effectively in this way."
(Frederick Dillon, Mathematics Teacher 2011-04-15)

"As a veteran teacher, I found that the book diagnosed several problems that I had unknowingly created for my students' classroom discussions. I now have a prescription for curing these problems." (Lori Lovato 2012-05-03)

"This book is a must-have for educators who are working toward having 'acountable talk.' I found it to be a welcome and thought-provoking addition to my professional library." (Maria Lamattina Teaching Children Mathematics Magazine, August 2012 2012-09-17)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (May 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452202907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452202907
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lance Bledsoe on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-written book will be useful for any math teacher looking for a way to move from superficial classroom discussions to ones that actually help students advance their understanding of mathematics. The authors do this by describing their Five Practices, and then demonstrating their usefulness by presenting five different classroom vignettes and pointing out how the Practices are (or could be) used to conduct good discussions.

The Five Practices (Anticipating, Monitoring, Selecting, Sequencing, and Connecting) are intended to be used in lessons in which the students are working together in small groups to complete some mathematical task, and a class-wide discussion is expected to be the culminating event of the lesson. The Practices specifically identify the things that the teacher will be doing before the lesson (Anticipating), during the group work part (Monitoring, Selecting, and Sequencing), and during the discussion itself (Connecting).

The authors open with a vignette of a teacher conducting a math lesson which ends with a class discussion, one which will look familiar to any math teacher. When I first read it I remember thinking that the teacher had done a pretty good job, but the authors then describe their Five Practices and point out some ways the lesson fell short, and I began to realize that there were a lot of things the teacher could have done much better.

The authors then use the remaining vignettes to highlight specific things about each individual Practice, pointing out things that the individual teachers did well, how those things contributed to a productive discussion and increased mathematical understanding for their students, and how the reader can use the Five Practices in their own lessons.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Pettis on December 9, 2012
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One of the most useful education-related books I have ever read. I always felt that the "share and summarize" portions of my lessons were the weakest part of my teaching repertoire and this book really helped me to see why AND gave me concrete tools that I am using to improve. Very easy to read and yet filled to the brim with the sorts of concrete suggestions that I find most useful. Truly transformational for me. I wish I could afford to give it to every teacher I know!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marsha H. Ratzel on April 28, 2013
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So often the math books you buy don't really help you change and think differently. This book is solid on the math and extremely helpful on deepening the way I think about preparing for class. I have been able to improve the quality of my class discussions using techniques that I learned from reading this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert McGregor on January 13, 2014
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I had heard about complex instruction in the Maths classroom after reading 'The Elephant in the Classroom' by Jo Boaler. Until I read this book I had not been able successful in finding a book that would give me step by step guidance in this form of instruction. Recommended for any teacher wanting to introduce collaborative learning in the Maths classroom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Spencer on July 10, 2014
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Finally, a really good book on leading a math lesson like an ELA lesson for math teachers. The only thing that would make this better would be case studies of a few teachers classrooms and their planning process. Really helpful to break it down for this veteran teacher!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amparo on July 4, 2013
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I was introduced to this book thru a common core professional development thru my school district. As a novice with the expectations of what common core entails, I ordered this resourceful book. This book helps any educator understand how you can take a closer look at your math standards and present them to your students in a conceptual matter. This book helps you learn how to facilitate your math lessons easier. It is a friendly teacher read. you will feel excited and read to apply the five practices into your classroom. The five practices, demonstrate guarantee success in your classroom. can't wait to apply them this school year.
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An excellent resource for teachers trying to implement the "Mathematical Practices." If introduced and used correctly, these five practices will lead to a more student-centered classroom and more in depth discussions, resulting in more and deeper conceptual understanding.
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