3 Heads: Collaboration & Mathematical Dialogue

Posted on Aug 8, 2013 in Professional Blog

It is a magic moment indeed, when you capture authentic student learning on video!

It was just an ordinary morning of maths in my classroom. We were moving from hands-on measurement investigations to more abstract tasks. I was aiming to stretch the students to generalise and transfer their understanding.

I noticed 3 students organically form a group, in order to attack a complex problem. I stopped to listen to their dialogue. As my camera was dangling from my wrist, I pressed record and watched with ever-growing joy.

While solving one problem, these students demonstrated:

  • effective collaboration (including skills of listening, paraphrasing, posing questions, presenting ideas and a wonderful willingness to engage in cognitive conflict)
  • enthusiastic communication from ESOL learners, (as each student was determined to be understood and advocate for their ideas)
  • problem-solving strategies (including analysing the question, working backwards, checking the solution, demonstrating their working)
  • persistence and commitment in the face of challenges


Please enjoy this snapshot of student learning. I am a proud teacher today.



To read more on effective collaboration skills, see Robert Garmston’s work: www.thinkingcollaborative.com

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