The Five Practices in Practice [Middle School]
Successfully Orchestrating Mathematics Discussions in Your Middle School Classroom
- Margaret (Peg) Smith - University of Pittsburgh, USA
- Miriam Gamoran Sherin - Northwestern University, USA
Foreword by Dan Meyer, Includes 65+ Minutes of Online Video
Corwin Mathematics Series
Mathematics & Numeracy | Teaching in Middle Schools
Take a deeper dive into understanding the five practices—anticipating, monitoring, selecting, sequencing, and connecting—for facilitating productive mathematical conversations in your middle school classrooms and learn to apply them with confidence. This follow-up to the modern classic, Five Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions, shows the five practices in action in middle school classrooms and empowers teachers to be prepared for and overcome the challenges common to orchestrating math discussions.
The chapters unpack the five practices and guide teachers to a deeper understanding of how to use each practice effectively in an inquiry-oriented classroom. This book will help you launch meaningful mathematical discussion through
- Key questions to set learning goals, identify high-level tasks, anticipate student responses, and develop targeted assessing and advancing questions that jumpstart productive discussion—before class begins
- Video excerpts from real middle school classrooms that vividly illustrate the five practices in action and include built-in opportunities for you to consider effective ways to monitor students’ ideas, and successful approaches for selecting, sequencing, and connecting students’ ideas during instruction
- “Pause and Consider” prompts that help you reflect on an issue—and, in some cases, draw on your own classroom experience—prior to reading more about it
- “Linking To Your Own Instruction” sections help you implement the five practices with confidence in your own instruction
The book and companion website provide an array of resources including planning templates, sample lesson plans and completed monitoring tools, and mathematical tasks. Enhance your fluency in the five practices to bring powerful discussions of mathematical concepts to life in your classroom.
"This books takes 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions to the next level as readers experience what these practices look like in real mathematics classrooms in middle school. The authors specifically address the challenges one might face in implementing the classrooms by providing recommendations and concrete examples to avoid these challenges. This book is a must read for teachers who want to amplify their classroom implementation of the five practices."
Cathy Martin, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction
Denver Public Schools
Every middle school math teacher needs to understand the practices in this book and know how to use them effectively in the classroom. Use of these practices will empower middle school students to understand mathematics and feel like they can do math!
This is a powerful and readable guide to shifting our middle school mathematics instruction toward maximizing our students' learning. But it's the clarity and familiarity of the challenges we all face when trying to implement these five practices - and the practicality and detail of the guidance provided in each chapter to address these challenges - that set this book apart and make it so useful for professional growth.
This books takes 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions to the next level as readers experience what these practices look like in real mathematics classrooms in grades 6-8. Readers will engage in analysis of videos and student work as they deepen their understanding of the five practices. The authors specifically address the challenges one might face in implementing the classrooms by providing recommendations and concrete examples to avoid these challenges.
Smith and Sherin have hit a home run with this book. Research has shown the importance of effective discussion in the mathematics classroom. This book provides the structure and practices to implement discussion as well as classroom scenarios and illustrations to bring those practices to light. It is a must read for any middle school teacher and those who work with middle school teachers. Student understanding of math will be improved through the implementation of the ideas in this book.
“I love the practical applications from the middle school classrooms and I love the suggestions for addressing challenging components of each practice. It helped me to more deeply understand the five practices and gave me great questions to ask myself and reflect upon in my classroom. It’s a must read to take your teaching to the next level!”
“This book is a comprehensive, ready-to-use, professional development plan inside a book’s covers! Its components include student work, classroom video, features addressing challenges teachers face, as well as providing reflective opportunities to pause and consider. This amazing, must-have resource will truly engage middle school mathematics teachers in ‘doing’ The 5 Practices.”
“Bring coherence and focus to your class discussions, empower students and assist them in making mathematical connections of substance—Smith and Sherin clarify, exemplify, and profoundly articulate how teachers can bring the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions to life. Each of the practices is unpacked for clarity, exemplified with classroom video and vignettes and the most significant challenges with implementation are shared and discussed. This is a must read for classroom teachers with immediate impact and steps for improvement provided.”
“Peg Smith has done it again. Building on her previous work with Mary Kay Stein (2018), Smith and coauthor Miriam Sherin have taken the next step in supporting teachers to engage students in rich mathematics discussions. Filled with examples and insights, both in print and on video, this book allows teachers to ‘see it in action,’ make sense, and reflect on the challenges, and it provides support and guidance to implement the five practices in their own instruction. Perfect for teachers, teacher leaders, coaches, or others who support teachers in their instructional practices, this book literally connects theory to practice and provides honest and thoughtful reflections and guidance to work towards our ultimate goals—students’ mathematics learning and agency.”
“Middle school teachers looking to implement the five practices in their classrooms will find this book to be a practical guide for planning and executing meaningful and impactful discourse in their mathematics instruction. This book will help all teachers to more deeply understand the practices framework while taking the ideas to the next level to ensure students develop mathematical understanding beyond routine procedures.”
“The authors insightfully anticipate teachers’ challenges and have designed a creative tool to support teacher learning. Their book is filled with highly practical reflective questions all tied to the five practices, enabling teachers to think for themselves. The result is a book that empowers middle level teachers to determine the best ways to advance their own professional development to improve students’ mathematical lives.”