A three-part lesson is an inquiry-based learning method used to teach mathematics in K–12 schools.
The three-part lesson has been attributed to John A. Van de Walle, a mathematician at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The purpose is to cognitively prepare students for the math lesson by having them think about a procedure, strategy or concept used in a prior lesson. Teachers determine what specific previous learning they wish students to recall, based on outcomes desired for that particular lesson.The role of the teacher is to "get students mentally prepared to work on the problem".
Marian Small, a proponent of a constructivist approach to mathematical instruction, provides an example of an inquiry-based question from which a three-part lesson could be created: "one bus has 47 students in it; another has 38. How many students are on both buses?"
Students engage in solving math problems individually, in pairs, or in small groups, and "record the mathematical thinking they used to develop solutions". Students then plan the strategies, methods, and concrete materials they will use to solve the problem. The teacher will circulate and make observations about the ways students are interacting, and will note the mathematical language they are using as well as the mathematical models they are employing to solve the problem. If a student is having difficulty, "the teacher might pose questions to provoke further thinking or have other students explain their plan for solving the problem".Teachers are advised to be active listeners in this phase, and to take notes. This is also a phase in which teachers can assess students.
In this final phase, the teacher oversees the sharing of solutions by students, and may employ other teaching techniques such as "math congress", "gallery walk", or "bansho". If new methods and strategies were discovered by students during the work phase, the teacher will post these on the class's "strategy wall", or use them to develop an "anchor chart".Teachers are not to evaluate students in this phase, but should be actively listening "to both good and not so good ideas".
Advocates of the three-part lesson state that students develop "independence and confidence by choosing the methods, strategies and concrete materials they will use, as well as ways to record their solutions". They claim students learn to discern similarities and differences in the mathematics, and also that "through such rich mathematics classroom discourse, students develop and consolidate their understanding of the learning goal of the lesson in terms of making connections to prior knowledge and experiences and making generalizations".Advocates also claim "students are more enthusiastic about the subject" when inquiry-based math instruction is used.
Opponents of inquiry-based methods such as the three-part lesson state that students are not learning the basics such as multiplication tables. In Ontario, Canada, where the Ministry of Education has promoted the three-part lesson, the curriculum was changed in the late 1990s in favour of "problem solving based on open-ended investigations rather than memorization". In that province, test scores in grades three and grade six math declined between 2009 and 2013, and "some contend that the math curriculum rather than teacher education is to blame for the lower scores because it places more emphasis on real-world concepts and applications than on rote learning".
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Founded in 1920, The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is the world's largest mathematics education organization.
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Saxon math, developed by John Saxon (1923–1996), is a teaching method for incremental learning of mathematics created in the 1980s. It involves teaching a new mathematical concept every day and constantly reviewing old concepts. Early editions were deprecated for providing very few opportunities to practice the new material before plunging into a review of all previous material. Newer editions typically split the day's work evenly between practicing the new material and reviewing old material. It uses a steady review of all previous material, with a focus on students who struggle with retaining the math they previously learned. However, it has sometimes been criticized for its heavy emphasis on rote rather than conceptual learning.
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Core-Plus Mathematics is a high school mathematics program consisting of a four-year series of print and digital student textbooks and supporting materials for teachers, developed by the Core-Plus Mathematics Project (CPMP) at Western Michigan University, with funding from the National Science Foundation. Development of the program started in 1992. The first edition, entitled Contemporary Mathematics in Context: A Unified Approach, was completed in 1995. The third edition, entitled Core-Plus Mathematics: Contemporary Mathematics in Context, was published by McGraw-Hill Education in 2015.
Math wars is the debate over modern mathematics education, textbooks and curricula in the United States that was triggered by the publication in 1989 of the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and subsequent development and widespread adoption of a new generation of mathematics curricula inspired by these standards.
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Connected Mathematics is a comprehensive mathematics program intended for U.S. students in grades 6-8. The curriculum design, text materials for students, and supporting resources for teachers were created and have been progressively refined by the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) at Michigan State University with advice and contributions from many mathematics teachers, curriculum developers, mathematicians, and mathematics education researchers.
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Floyd Grant Robinson is a teacher, education theorist and curriculum developer. He has written many works on the topics of stimulating complex thinking and the importance of education across the entire lifespan. Robinson is most notable for his work done while at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) between 1965 and 1991.
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