The Math Forum @ Drexel

Session 2016: When 2 Is Greater than 4: Listening TO Student Thinking

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2013
  • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Max Ray
  • In 2011, Max successfully convinced a room full of math teachers that 2 is greater than 4. . . or, at least, that "listening to students is more powerful than listening for an answer." Expanding on the theme of his 5-minute Ignite talk, he'll model ways to create authentic listening opportunities in busy classrooms, and the impact these opportunities have on students. In addition, we'll explore formative assessment techniques that avoid the "listening for" trap.


  • Introduction – Why 2 > 4
  • Discussion and examples of listening TO and listening FOR
  • Do some math – Eating Grapes
  • Exercise – what does it feel like to listen TO vs. listen FOR?
  • Classroom Activities for Listening TO
    •       I Notice, I Wonder™
    •       Eavesdropping
    •       Math Journals
    •       Curiosity Questions


  • Eating Grapes Handout [PDF]
  • Why 2 > 4 Ignite Talk [HTML]
  • Journal Articles about the Problem-Solving Process and Unsilencing Students’ Voices: [HTML]
  • Handout on the Notice and Wonder activity: [PDF]
  • Handout on Problem-Solving in Just Minutes a Day: [PDF]

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