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What Is Mathematical Fluency And How Does It Support Learning?

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At this year’s National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) conference, Heinemann authors Sue O’Connell, Steve Leinwand, Cathy Fosnot, Max Ray-Riek, and June Mark held a special event with mathematics specialists and leaders to discuss the goal of math education today, the importance of the Standards for Mathematical Practice, and the kinds of effective instructional shifts teachers can make in their classrooms.

In the fourth clip from this event, Steve Leinwand, Cathy Fosnot, Sue O’Connell, and June Mark talk about how we define fluency and the role it plays in learning mathematics. In it, they discuss important ideas such as:

  • fluency is about understanding, strategies, and efficiency—not speed
  • conceptual understanding and strategies are the foundations on which fluency is built
  • helping students develop fluency must be a purposeful endeavor.


Watch the full clip:

 
 
 
 
 
2:56
 
 
 
2:56
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wistia video thumbnail - How should we understand fluency and how it fits into learning mathematics?

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Next Monday, Max reflects on grading and giving effective feedback as a teacher.

To read more from master educators and leaders in the field about best practices in mathematics instruction, check out our recent blog series unpacking each of the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice.

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Steve Leinwand (@steve_leinwand) is a Principal Research Analyst at American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the bestselling Accessible Mathematics and Sensible Mathematics.

Cathy Fosnot (@ctfosnot) is Professor Emerita of Education at the City College of New York and the founder of Mathematics in the City, a national center for professional development. She currently directs New Perspectives on Learning and is the author of the Young Mathematicians at Work series and the Contexts for Learning Mathematics program.

Sue O’Connell (@SueOConnellMath) is a nationally known speaker and education consultant who directs Quality Teacher Development. She is the coauthor of the bestselling Putting the Practices Into Action and the Mastering the Basic Math Facts series.

June Mark is a Project Director in the Teaching and Learning Division at Education Development Center (@EDCtweets). She is coauthor of Making Sense of Algebra and the Transition to Algebra program.

Topics: Video, Mathematics, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Standards for Mathematical Practice, Sue O'Connell, Cathy Fosnot, June Mark, Math, Max Ray, NCSM, SMP, Steve Leinwand

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