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Teaching with Mathematical Argument

Strategies for Supporting Everyday Instruction

By Despina Stylianou, Maria Blanton

Many students’ interest in mathematics fades as they are asked to solve seemingly endless disconnected problems, but building your daily instruction around mathematical argumentation can enliven your classroom and re-engage your students. With ideas for structuring discussions and suggested tasks to try, Teaching with Mathematical Argument shows how to elevate argumentation in your instruction and harness its power for enhancing student learning.

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Argumentation leads to deeper understanding

Many students’ interest in mathematics fades as they are asked to solve seemingly endless disconnected problems. Despina Stylianou and Maria Blanton show how building daily instruction around mathematical argumentation can enliven your classroom and re-engage your students.

Teaching with Mathematical Argument explores how argumentation—discussing and debating a rich mathematical problem—provides all students a deeper understanding of mathematics. You’ll find guidance for:

  • understanding what argumentation is and building a classroom culture that supports it
  • engaging every student in argumentation, not just “strong” or “high performing” students
  • assessing your students’ arguments and designing instruction responsive to their learning.

The potential to transform student engagement

At its core, argumentation helps students delve deeply into foundational mathematical concepts, enhancing their understanding and confidence along the way. Research shows that this type of instruction has the potential to transform student engagement and success in mathematics, and so Despina and Maria argue that mathematical arguments should have a far more central role in teaching and learning than most of us have ever considered.

With ideas for structuring discussions and suggested tasks to try, this book will show you how to elevate argumentation in your instruction and harness its power for enhancing student learning.

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