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Solving Out Loud : using discourse as a means to promote problem solving, motivation, and metacognition in a mathematics classroom


Classroom communication can often be a teacher-centered discussion. Due to the teacher centered format of discussions students are not engaging in meaningful discourse in mathematics classroom, which is part of the NCTM 2000 Standards as well as a necessary component to learning. Students can only learn communication skills when discourse is a central feature from the classroom. In addition, students must explicitly learn problem-solving skills. Unfortunately, many of these features are absent from today's classrooms. This research investigates the connection between discourse and problem solving in a ninth and tenth Geometry classroom. Solving Out Loud is a curriculum that was developed to increase students' confidence and ability in problem solving as well as students' mathematical discourse skills, students' motivation, and finally students' metacognition of mathematical learning. Students participating in this study were involved in large student-centered discussions either based on a single question, such as "what motivates you to learn?" or based on the different procedures to solving particular problems. Solving Out Loud was evaluated with data from the students' work, recorded class conversations, teacher field notes, and pre and post surveys. This data showed an increase in students' problem solving skills and students' confidence in their ability to discuss their problem solving strategies. The findings imply that student-centered conversations benefit the development of students' problem solving and discourse skills

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