Mathematics Education Seminar Online

foto Sharon Calor

Scaffolding small groups

Sharon Calor, UvA


Collaborative learning can be an important means for enhancing students’ learning of mathematics. Several studies have shown that mathematical discussions in small heterogeneous groups may lead to mathematical level raising. Teachers, however, find it difficult to support small groups during collaborative learning. We developed a tool, the so-called Small-Group Scaffolding Tool (SGS Tool), which offers teachers concrete steps to scaffold small groups at the group level. We investigated in a explorative study whether working with the SGS Tool supports teachers’ scaffolding behavior. Participants were four teachers and their 109 seventh-grade students from one school in the Netherlands. Students worked on a lesson series of 12 60-minute lessons on Early Algebra over five weeks. Five lessons were replaced with lessons explicitly designed to invoke mathematical discussion. In this presentation, I present the SGS-Tool, results from the study, and some tasks that students worked on. 

Download the PDF of the presentation here.


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