Creating a Community of Students

that make sense of Mathematical Ideas


  • To work through open ended problems
  • To discuss solutions to problems
  • For students to discuss their thinking
  • For regular Number Talks/Math Talks
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  • Room arrangement allows students to work together in groups
  • A range of hands-on materials and math tools are easily accessible
  • Prompting charts are created with student input and displayed for student use
  • Routines that support conceptual understanding of current curriculum goals are present and followed
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  • Students are comfortable taking risks
  • Mistakes are considered opportunities for discussion and growth
  • Students are actively discussing and defending their mathematical positions
  • Students encourage each other


  • The lessons are a mix of small group, whole group and individual work
  • There is a balance of instruction in conceptual and procedural math
  • The teacher allow students time and suppports their efforts to make sense of math
  • Opportunities beyond the textbook are intentionally included to support deeper understanding of mathematical concepts

Sense Making

  • Opportunities for math discussions, math connections, and reflection require students to describe and analyze their thinking
  • Students write about math
  • Students explain, justify and reason
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