Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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CommunicationSession 02 Overviewtab atab btab ctab dtab eReference



Young children enter school with a natural sense of curiosity about their world and about one another. They draw on their intuitive ideas to make sense of the world around them. Various forms of communication enable young children to share their ideas with the teacher and with others. As students have opportunities to work together and talk about their ideas, they begin to compare their own ideas with their classmates'. Just as important, communication helps children clarify their own thinking and understanding about mathematical ideas.

In this session, we will illustrate and reflect on different aspects of communication in helping young children to make sense of mathematics.

Learning Objectives

This session shows you how to help students do the following:

  • Use oral communication to share their mathematical thinking
  • Use invented and traditional symbols to express their ideas
  • Use methods of communication other than talking and writing, such as movement, pictures, and number sentences
  • Clarify their thinking and extend their understanding by working with and listening to the ideas of others
  • Develop mathematical ideas through effective teacher questioning

NCTM Communication Standard

Instructional programs . . . should enable all students to --

  • Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication
  • Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
  • Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others
  • Use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely

Principles and Standards of School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000). For more information on this Process Standard, see the NCTM Web site


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