Series Success at the Core: Active and Exploratory Instruction: Facilitating Peer Learning


Common core State Standards

  • Math:  Math
  • Practice:  Mathematical Practice Standards
  • MP4:  Model with mathematics.

    Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community. By high school, a student might use geometry to solve a design problem or use a function to describe how one quantity of interest depends on another. Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Facilitating Peer Learning

Lesson Objective: Take ownership of math content through dialogue, peer teaching, and presentation
Grade 7 / Math / Engagement
10 MIN


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does the teacher use questions to promote peer-to-peer dialogue?
  2. What other strategies does the teacher use to encourage peer learning?
  3. What strikes you about the role of the teacher and students in this classroom?


  • Private message to Charles Miller

The students are engaged and sharing in the learning process

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  • Private message to Robin Mankel
This is a great example of academic discourse and modeling with mathematics! I like the idea of having a student go to the front with the 'light saber' to clarify during the lesson. Also, I like the idea of having students sitting at the document reader and the teacher asking questions so that student is explaining to the class. I teach all English Language Learners, so I look forward to using these strategies as a means to engage the students, have them practice using academic vocabulary and explain their thinking.
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  • Private message to Michael Corliss
Math class seems vibrant in these small groups - I love the level of background noise caused by all the students' voices giving and taking ideas! I do have a question - is the small group setup you have in this video typical of this class in general, or is seating often rearranged for conceptual lectures? Do you mix student groups up during the semester, or prefer to let the groups gel for long term? Thank you for the great work ~
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  • Private message to Freddy Moreno
Excelente metodología.
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  • Private message to Heather Vogt
As an ELA teacher, I can see myself posing a deep question about a work of fiction and having students work together to "answer" the question with textual evidence. Maybe it's a question about theme or conflict or climax; either way, students are working as a team to answer the question with evidence. Then we can come together as a class to discuss what was found. Or I can use the Jigsaw approach and have students take a portion of a literary analysis sheet to complete. Thanks for the strategy!
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School Details

Shaw Middle School
4106 North Cook St
Spokane WA 99207
Population: 591

Data Provided By:



Mark Egger


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