Using the iPad to Develop Preservice Teachers’ Understanding of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice

Using the iPad to Develop Preservice Teachers’ Understanding of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice

Mary Grassetti (Framingham State University, USA) and Silvy Brookby (Framingham State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4086-3.ch025
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Abstract

The Standards for Mathematical Practice as delineated in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics describe the processes, proficiencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to develop through their engagement with mathematics (Dacey & Polly, 2012). The purpose of this chapter is to discuss, anecdotally, how the iPad, a tablet computer designed by Apple ™, can be used to develop preservice teachers’ understanding and implementation of the Standards for Mathematical Practice, most specifically Mathematical Practice Standard 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Under examination are the authors’ experiences using the iPad as an observational tool during student teaching and as a teaching tool in their mathematics methods courses. The chapter concludes with suggestions for additional uses of the iPad to support preservice teachers as they work to develop their understanding of the Standards for Mathematical Practice.
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Introduction

The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics ([CCSSM]; CCSSI, 2010) delineate not only the mathematical content that students need to know and understand but also the mathematical practices that students must develop in order to be successful practitioners of mathematics. The Standards for Mathematical Practice (See Table 1) documented in the CCSSM “describe varieties of expertise that mathematics educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students” (CCSSI, p. 6). The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe the processes, proficiencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to develop through their engagement with mathematics (Dacey & Polly, 2012). For students to be able to develop the processes and habits of mind espoused by the CCSSM, teachers must work intentionally and systematically on their development.

Table 1.
Standards for mathematical practice
1. Make sense of problems and preserve in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

In this chapter we will discuss anecdotally how the iPad, a tablet computer designed by Apple ™, can be used to develop preservice teachers’ understanding and implementation of the Standards for Mathematical Practice, most specifically Mathematical Practice Standard 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Since Practice Standard 3 inherently encompasses discourse practices used by the teacher, the chapter will begin with a review of the literature examining traditional and reform-orientated classroom discourse to examine how classroom discourse shapes students’ opportunities to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of their peers. Next, the chapter will provide a review of the literature detailing the ways in which new mobile technologies are used to support and enhance the process of teaching and learning. The chapter will then describe how the authors have used the iPad as an observational tool with student teachers and discuss how the iPad has the potential to enhance the observation experience through enhancing collaboration and self-reflection. The authors will share how they have utilized the iPad in tertiary environments such as a mathematics methods class, to develop preservice teachers’ understanding of the Standards for Mathematical Practice before they are in the role of student teacher. The chapter will conclude with suggestions for additional uses of the iPad to support preservice teachers as they work to develop their understanding of the Standards for Mathematical Practice as delineated by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

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