Levels of Discourse in a Mathematics Classroom

Levels of Discourse in a Mathematics Classroom
Levels Characteristics of Discourse
0 The teacher asks questions and affirms the accuracy of answers or introduces and explains mathematical ideas.  Students listen and give short answers to the teacher’s questions.
1 The teacher asks students direct questions about their thinking while other students listen.  The teacher explains student strategies, filling in any gaps before continuing to present mathematical ideas.  The teacher may ask one student to help another by showing how to do a problem.
2 The teacher asks open-ended questions to elicit student thinking and asks students to comment on one another’s work.  Students answer the questions posed to them and voluntarily provide additional information about their thinking.
3 The teacher facilitates the discussion by encouraging students to ask questions of one another to clarify ideas.  Ideas from the community build on one another as students thoroughly explain their thinking and listen to the explanations of others.

Adapted from Hufferd-Ackles, Fuson, and Sherin (2004)

Courtesy WVDE

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