Discipline: Professional Resources

Copyright: 2023

Grade(s): K - 5

Imprint: Heinemann

Author(s): Jen Munson, Jennifer Langer-Osuna, Faith Kwon, Mary Trinkle

The Collaborative Math Classroom

What is a collaborative math classroom?

Peek inside one and you’ll find an equitable, dynamic, student-centered math classroom based on exploration, shared thinking, and dialogue. Instead of explaining procedures, the teacher curates and facilitates rich mathematical experiences that students engage in together. Students learn not just mathematical ideas, but also how to do mathematics together—posing and making sense of problems and experiencing themselves and one another as mathematical contributors and thinkers. As students interact with the classroom environment, each other, and mathematics itself, they explore and investigate big mathematical ideas and build reasoning and conceptual understanding.

Do you want to launch a collaborative math classroom, but you’re not sure how or where to start? 

The Collaborative Math Classroom is a practical guide to starting this work, outlining exactly how teachers can launch and cultivate a collaborative, student-centered math classroom. You will find clear suggestions to help you get started and establish a structure, along with ideas of what to look for, signs to celebrate, answers to questions, and a variety of resources, all drawn from classroom experience and backed by research. The authors provide key goals for developing students’ interactions with the environment, each other, and mathematics, and how teachers can plan for, launch, and develop classroom communities that help meet those goals.

Creating a collaborative math classroom is engaging, ambitious, and often joyful work. The details vary from year to year, grade to grade, and classroom to classroom, but the work can happen in any classroom—including yours.