Use of Strategy Maps and Virtual Coaching: A Case Study of a Teacher's Development of Connections in Middle Grades Mathematics




Wills, Theresa Elvira

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The implementation of math-talk appears simple and eloquent when facilitated by a skilled teacher, but daunting to those who try to implement it with little or no background on the behind the scenes practices. With the introduction of the Common Core State Standards, and the increased recommendation for mathematical discourse by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, teachers and administrators are feeling the need to teach mathematics differently. While previous research has identified specific practices that break down math-talk into manageable routines, it does not adequately address the practice of making connections. This dissertation addresses the need for math-talk by providing ongoing math coaching that utilizes a visual tool for teachers called a strategy map, which targets the skill of making connections. Further, it will answer the following research questions: 1) In what ways do strategy maps support the teacher in making connections during the math-talk? (a) Given diverse student methods, how do strategy maps support teachers in making connections between students' work? (b) What connections between students' work emerge during the math-talk? (c) In what ways do the strategy maps and the math-talk develop together throughout a semester? 2) In what ways does virtual math coaching support the teacher in utilizing strategy maps as a tool to increase the level of math-talk? This case study took place over one semester, and analyzed the way that one mathematics teacher used strategy maps while implementing math-talk in her classroom.



Education, Educational leadership, Mathematics education, Coaching, Connections, Discourse, Education, Mathematics, Math-talk