5 Ways to Implement the MC² Thinking Protocol: Building Confidence & Engagement through Mathematical Discourse

The MC2 Thinking Protocol offers a structured opportunity for students and teachers to learn to think flexibly and approach mathematics with productive curiosity by creating opportunities for:

  • Students to engage in meaningful mathematical dialogue with each other.
    Children learn math when they are actively engaged in thinking and talking about how they understand a situation. When students can make conjectures and compare/contrast those thoughts with the opinions of others, mathematical thinking becomes more flexible and invokes additional ways of thinking. This malleability is an asset to learning mathematics.
  • Teachers to formatively assess students’ thinking through careful listening and questioning.
    Reflection on student work and student conversations create a platform for teacher dialogue. The protocol can reveal what students actually “THINK” about a specific mathematical concept or idea and why they hold these beliefs. Through listening to student dialogue and crafting effective questions, teachers can uncover significant information that helps guide instructional next steps for the development of student understanding.
Thinking Protocols 2-5 below each build on the first Thinking Protocol listed-Uncovering Student Thinking. For ease of use, changes are highlighted in blue outlined boxes within each associated One-Pager and Teacher Guide.

  1. Uncovering Student Thinking
  2. Students’ Self-Assessment of Their Learning and Understanding
  3. Comparing Different Student Strategies
  4. Mastery of Specific Content and/or Mathematical Practice Standard(s)
  5. Meaningful PARCC Test Prep

Keep this question in mind while exploring each of the following five ways of implementing the MC2 Thinking Protocol: How might using the MC2 Thinking Protocol support confidence and engagement in the classroom?

1. MC2 Thinking Protocol for Uncovering Student Thinking
This protocol may be used to reveal WHY STUDENTS ARE STRUGGLING with a concept as indicated by formative and/or summative data. This video is an example of how the Thinking Protocol may be adapted for a kindergarten classroom.
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2. MC2 Thinking Protocol for Student Self-Assessment
This protocol may be used to know HOW CONFIDENT STUDENTS ARE in their own answers and understanding. In this video clip, Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment, University College, London discusses using self and peer assessment to support high quality learning.
Assessment at University College London.
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3. MC2 Thinking Protocol for Comparing Different Student Strategies
This protocol may be used to SUPPORT STUDENTS in:

  • Gaining confidence in building viable arguments & critiquing reasoning of others
  • Building their strategy repertoire by listening to others’ thinking
  • Encouraging and valuing multiple perspectives & strategies
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4. MC2 Thinking Protocol for Mastery of Specific Common Core Content and/or Mathematical Practice Standard(s)
This protocol may be used to SUPPORT TEACHERS in:

  • Reveal what students understand about a particular standard(s)
  • Identify gaps in student understanding
  • Provide opportunities for students to engage in Common Core Mathematical Practice Standards
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student ideas iconStudent Reflection
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5. MC2 Thinking Protocol for Meaningful PARCC/Test Prep
This protocol may be used to BUILD STUDENT CONFIDENCE in:

  • Solving a PARCC-like test item on their own
  • Working with PARCC test format
  • Expressing their mathematical reasoning

 

paper iconOne-Page Protocol guide iconTeacher Guide teacher ideas iconData Collection/
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student ideas iconStudent Reflection
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