What do we hope to see and hear when we step into a math classroom? As our focus has shifted from memorizing to understanding and from calculating to applying, we have recognized instructional strategies that are better suited to these goals.
As we observe math classrooms, we look for evidence that teaching is more than delivering a textbook lesson. We look at the interactions between teacher and students, the on-the-spot decisions made by the teacher to keep learning progressing, and the ways in which the teacher brings math ideas to light through talk, visuals, and making connections to past learning. More specifically, here are some key features we would hope to see in an effective math classroom.