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Why Inquiry-Based Math Counts on a Helping Community in the Classroom

Why Inquiry-Based Math Counts on a Helping Community in the Classroom

Building confidence with math learning and teaching, establishing a helping community in the classroom empowers ALL students to learn mathematics through shared responsibilities.

Helping Community is a crucial component of an effective mathematics classroom, according to research. Findings show it impacts math learning and teaching that helps students develop deep conceptual understanding while they practice, apply, and discuss what they know with skill and confidence.

Nurturing Instruction
Helping Community is exactly that. A community that is helpful to all its members. 

Working together so that all students understand a particular math concept and can explain it, teachers and students alike realize that everyone makes mistakes. They appreciate that they can learn from mistakes – both their own and those others make in this nurturing environment. 

The community is a safe one—where students can feel free to take risks and share ideas. A student can ask for help at any time.


Five Core Structures
Helping Community is one of five research-based components that are the organizational touchstones of the Math Expressions program. These Five Core Structures also include Building Concepts, Math Talk, Student Leaders, and Quick Practice.

These structures are not static. They are interactive. They work together and support one another. The research project that spearheaded its development found that using the Five Core Structures in the classroom enables children from all backgrounds to learn mathematics with understanding, fluency, and confidence.

With over ten years of development and funding from the National Science Foundation, Math Expressions is a research-based Kindergarten–Grade 6 elementary mathematics program. Its inquiry-based approach drives active instruction, student engagement, and proven results.

To learn how Math Expressions helps schools build confidence and elevate learning to ensure sense-making in math, download the program overview for more on what’s included.

Topics: Mathematics, Community, Math, Math@Heinemann, Heinemann Math, Math Expressions, Teaching Math

Date Published: 06/28/23

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