How can we break the cycle of frustrated students who “drop out of math” because the procedures just don’t make sense to them? Or who memorize the procedures for the test but don’t really understand the mathematics? Max Ray-Riek and his colleagues at the Math Forum at Drexel University say “problem solved,” by offering their collective wisdom about how students become proficient problem solvers, through the lens of the CCSS for Mathematical Practices. They unpack the process of problem solving in fresh new ways and turn the Practices into activities that teachers can use to foster habits of mind required by the Common Core.
In this clip, Max and his colleague Suzanne Alejandre discuss effective forms of written feedback. "We want [the students] to think more about the problem," says Max. "That's our goal in giving feedback: to say something to the student that makes them want to return to the problem and think again."
Max Ray-Riek is a Professional Collaboration Facilitator at the Math Forum @ Drexel, a leading online resource for improving math learning, teaching, and communication. He is a former secondary mathematics teacher who presents at national conferences on fostering problem solving, communication, and valuing student thinking.