In this month’s Something to Talk About blog Amanda Jansen and Molly Brnich share how to build a classroom discourse community in the math classroom through the practice of making and evaluating claims.
This fall, as students and teachers have been returning to school, I have been catching up with some of the teachers with whom I collaborate. I reflected recently with high school math teacher, Molly Brnich. We talked about the ways she supports students as they jump into math content but also as they develop as a math community.
Molly works to build a classroom in which students explore mathematical situations and generate claims. A claim is an idea of what might be true. Students’ claims are publicly displayed on a chart in her classroom, written as they emerge from the students. Then the class works on exploring whether the claims are true by investigating evidence. They work together to refute or justify their claims, which can also lead to refining and revising their claims. I wrote about Molly and her classroom’s revision practice of Create, Justify, or Refute a Claim in Chapter Four of Rough Draft Math.