At Long-View, we spend a significant amount of time investing in the learning culture of our school, with particular attention paid to how this translates within our mathematics classrooms. As Harvard educator Dr. Richard Elmore has so often made clear, the “default culture of American instruction” contains “certain robust patterns of instructional practice that are unique to the US and that are highly destructive to higher level student learning.” From our standpoint, these highly destructive instructional patterns are easily observed within American math classrooms and at Long-View we seek to disrupt these and nurture within Long-View math classrooms instructional practices that support high cognitive demand and high levels of learning among all students. This starts with deliberate work cultivating an environment that attends in an intentional manner to attitudes, beliefs, customs, and ways of interacting that resist the “default culture of schooling”….
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If you step into a Long-View mathematics class, you’re apt to hear students reading mathematics expressions using language that seems a little different.
In reading an addition expression such as 41 + 17, for example, you’d hear a Long-View student say “forty-one and seventeen” rather than “forty-one plus seventeen.” While this may seem like a subtle substitution, there is a great deal of deliberate thought underneath this use of language that supports our young mathematicians as they develop strong conceptual understandings that will transfer across all of arithmetic to Algebra. Language is actually one of the most under-utilized models in school mathematics. Not at Long-View....