Student Centered Classroom
It is important to foster an environment for collaborative learning from the opening day of school through the end of the school year. Evidence of the Mathematical Practices are seen and heard naturally in a CMP classroom when the curriculum is implemented with integrity.
You can foster collaborative learning by valuing students’ reasoning, thinking, and physical displays of learning as they work during the Explore and Summarize phases of the lesson. If you view your role more as a guide to learning rather than an affirmer of skills and knowledge, students will take ownership of their learning and value sharing their ideas with one another.
Collaborative learning during the Explore phase is most effective when the Problem is deep enough to be tackled by a small group of three to four students. Collaborative partner work is also enhanced when students have a few minutes of individual time to think about the Problem. This individual investment in thinking enriches student collaboration during the Explore phase. When the Summarize phase is based on students’ input from their exploration, students realize that they own their learning. There is a sense of community-built understanding. Encourage students to ask questions of each other.