Series: Connecting Math to Real-World Tasks

Creating a Community of Learners
Lesson Objective: Help students learn together
All Grades / Math / Collaboration

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Linares encourage students to learn from each other?
  2. How does Ms. Linares create a community where students feel comfortable taking risks?
  3. How does this positive classroom culture affect student achievement?

Math tasks are a great way to watch students reason out and solve problems.  My favorite part is the 10-15 minutes where each student must work through and find ways to solve.  Then giving them a chance to solve in a group and see answers are found in different ways, is also very eye opening for the teacher! 


Recommended (0)
This teacher did a wonderful job!!She asked questions and allowed the students to work together with their partners which was very helpful.The kids felt safe sharing with each other. Later they came back and shared their answers with the group. Hearing each other share validates their learning! The cooperative groups and atmosphere in the classroom we’re helpful in developing a caring community of learners.
Recommended (0)
It was wonderful to witness how Ms. Linares introduced her lesson by asking questions and allowing the students to collaborate with their partner in a quiet voices to come up with solutions , then freely express and discuss their ideas in a whole class discussion within an encouraging atmosphere. She gracefully redirected her students, guiding them through questioning, to arrive at the right answer. It was heart warming to see how a child felt safe enough to admit she didn't comprehend how to arrive at an answer and how her partner had helped her. Ms. Linares followed up by complementing the child who had aided her partner, allowing her to be recognized to the whole group.
Recommended (0)
The shared learning between students is a great practice, especially in the early lessons when a new concept is taught. I love that some of the quieter students feel comfortable sharing in the smaller setting, where in a whole classroom discussion, usually the most vocal are the only ones heard.
Recommended (0)
It is great that the teacher just sat back and observed the students in the beginning. Students were allowed to feel comfortable sharing their answers and it a safe zone in the class.
Recommended (0)


  • Creating a Community of Learners Transcript

    Speaker 1: What does train mean in this context? Ready? Let's have [Once 00:00:11] this

    Creating a Community of Learners Transcript

    Speaker 1: What does train mean in this context? Ready? Let's have [Once 00:00:11] this time. Once, tell your group. What does train mean in this task, in this mathematical test? Ready, Once? Go.

    I love seeing the interaction. It's more than just ... I don't want to stand there and just give them answers. That could be easy, but I want them to come up with an answer.

    Speaker 2: I know that whole numbers are like 4/4 or 5/5.

    Speaker 1: At first, I just let them try it. I observe what's going on. I give them time to try it out first before I step in with questions to facilitate the learning, to promote higher mathematical thinking.

    Speaker 3: There's the row of it.

    Speaker 1: A row what?

    Speaker 3: Of the [inaudible 00:00:54].

    Speaker 1: What's the 1/4 inch represent?

    Speaker 3: The 1/4 inch represents the space between them.

    Speaker 1: Oh, so the space between? Does that mean they're going to be touching each other?

    Speaker 3: No.

    Speaker 1: Sometimes just listening to their groups conversation. Sometimes just listening to their partner explain it to them, they will get more out of the task as well.

    Be respectful listeners. Hear their mathematical thinking. Partner As, begin.

    [crosstalk 00:01:26]

    The task that was done in this lesson really allows students to share their thinking and take risks. I want them to feel comfortable in sharing their ideas and be open to that positive criticism.

    Speaker 2: Maybe I'm going to add them or multiply them to know what is the answer, and then I would justify my answer.

    Speaker 1: The shared learning experience really allows students to speak up, versus those students that are always quiet, so this kind of pushes them, because they know their group, or their partner, is going to hold them accountable for sharing something.

    How did you finally get over that struggle?

    Speaker 4: I told my partner how to add or multiply, and he said to add because you would get wholes and fractions.

    Speaker 1: In today's lesson, I saw students that were talking about the mathematics task. Thy were engaged in the learning, some more than others, willing to share their ideas, coaching them and helping them through the process, and thinking through the problem, and see maybe they're missing part of the answer, but together we figure out what step maybe they did wrong, what misconception they had, and that's where we clarify those misconceptions as a whole class.

    Speaker 5: That's when I finally kind of got it, but I had trouble adding all of it until Mallory shared, and then I got the answer.

    Speaker 1: Mallory's explanation helped you where you were struggling? Awesome! See, Mallory, you helped her out there. Good job at sharing your struggle with us.

    In today's class, I did see a lot of interactions, and students willingness to share their ideas, and that is what makes it more fun to see those brains going at it, and the collaboration, the talking about mathematics, so that I can get different approaches to solving the problem.

School Details

Orange Grove Elementary School
3525 West County 16 1/2 Street
Somerton AZ 85350
Population: 343

Data Provided By:



Patty Linares


Teaching Practice

Project-based Learning, PBL, Projects, Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades/ All Subjects/ Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Culture

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement