Ways of Thinking and Properties of Operations

Participate in Mathematical Discussions


Participate in Mathematical Discussions

Listening actively and asking questions during discussions are as important as the presentation.

To create a good math community, you should:

  • Focus on learning, not getting the answer right.
  • Help each other learn.
  • Be responsible for your own learning.

View the Hints during Ways of Thinking to read questions you can ask the presenter. Pick one or ask a your own question.


  • What can you as a listener contribute to improve your classroom math community?

Hint: Here are ways listeners contribute to math discussions:

  • Clarify—Tell the presenter when you do not understand.
    “I did not understand. What do you mean by…?”
  • Critique—Challenge reasoning that is flawed.
    “How do you know that…?”
  • Connect—Explore how different strategies result in the same answer.
    “What you said is like…"
  • Compare—Describe similarities and differences.
    “Is that different from…?”
  • Notice structure—Ask whether a conclusion is always, sometimes, or never true. “Is your conclusion always true for…?"