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March Math Monthly


View the video above about how you can encourage your students to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, and check ParentSquare or contact your ES for the PDF of the included flier and poster!

March’s Strategy: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

  • Constructing arguments and critiquing reasoning require the two highest levels of thinking: Evaluate and Create. We spend so much time on the lowest levels of thinking in math, but the Standards of Mathematical Practice ask us to do so much more!
  • Try a simple trick - when your student answers a question, ask them "How do you know?" Focus less on whether they used the "right" technique, and look instead for explanations that are clear and make sense. As they get older, ask them to explain their thinking in writing as often as possible.
  • Ask your students "Why?" as often as they asked you when they were toddlers!

Push higher: have your students brainstorm as many synonyms to each level of thinking as they can, and use that list with the attached poster to have them monitor their thinking as they work.

March’s Vocabulary Links:

Compare: Examine two or more things in relation to each other. You can use words like "alike" "different" "greater than" "less than" or "equal to" to compare.

Proof: A sequence of steps that links the hypotheses of the statement to the conclusion of the statement. Don't assume any connections that you haven't directly stated!

Synthesize: Combine into a coherent whole. Simply put, put it all together!