Learn to Notice Student Thinking

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BYU Mathematics Education professors coauthored two chapters in the book Teacher Noticing: Bridging and Broadening Perspectives, Contexts, and Frameworks, published by Springer International in July 2017. The book reflects the continuing development of teacher noticing through an exploration of the latest research.

Both chapters focused on the importance of observing and noticing students’ valuable mathematical thinking, and then turning it into a purposeful learning discussion.

Dr. Dawn Teuscher, Dr. Keith Leatham and Dr. Blake Peterson coauthored the chapter “From a framework to a lens: Learning to notice student mathematical thinking”. This chapter shares evidence of how student teachers who had previous research experience identifying student mathematical thinking in classroom videos could apply these noticing skills in their student teaching.

“During their student teaching, they have to do journals, and the person who is supervising them noticed this huge difference between them and other student teachers on noticing student thinking in their journals,” Dr. Leatham said.

The case study presents an existence proof that development on articulating student mathematical thinking through focused video analysis could influence teacher’s ability to notice in-the-moment student mathematical thinking.

The other chapter “Noticing distinctions among and within instances of student mathematical thinking” was coauthored by Dr. Peterson, Dr. Leatham and two other researchers. This chapter elaborates on how the MOST Analytic Framework provides structure and guidance for noticing both within and among student mathematical thinking.

The research focused on developing tools to help teachers to identify instances of student mathematical thinking that provide opportunities to further classroom learning.

“In my own teaching, I have noticed that when students share ideas, I am thinking about the framework…. The more I understand the framework itself, the more sensitive I am to those teaching moments. It’s like a pair of glasses that I put on to view the classroom in a new way,” Dr. Leatham said.