Padmanabhan Seshaiyer , Jennifer Suh
DOI: JANT Vol.25(No.3) 201-225, 2022
This paper details case study vignettes that focus on enhancing the teaching and learning of geometry and measurement in the elementary grades with attention to pedagogical practices for teaching through problem solving with rigor and centering equitable teaching practices. Rigor is a matter of equity and opportunity (Dana Center, 2019). Rigor matters for each and every student and yet research indicates historically disadvantaged and underserved groups have more of an opportunity gap when it comes to rigorous mathematics instruction (NCTM, 2020). Along with providing a conceptual framework that focuses on the importance of equitable instruction, our study unpacks ways teachers can leverage their deep understanding of geometry and measurement learning trajectories to amplify the mathematics through rigorous problems using multiple approaches including learning by doing, challenged-based and mathematical modeling instruction. Through these vignettes, we provide examples of tasks taught through rigorous problem solving approaches that support conceptual teaching and learning of geometry and measurement. Specifically, each of the three vignettes presented includes a task that was implemented in an elementary classroom and a vertically articulated task that engaged teachers in a professional learning workshop. By beginning with elementary tasks to more sophisticated concepts in higher grades, we demonstrate how vertically articulating a deeper understanding of the learning trajectory in geometric thinking can add to the rigor of the mathematics.