Examining Technology-Supported Teacher Responding and Students’ Written Mathematical Explanations

This study examines technology-enhanced teacher responses and students’ written mathematical explanations to understand how to support effective teacher responding and the centering of students’ mathematical ideas. Although prior research has focused on teacher noticing and responding to students’ mathematical ideas, few studies have explored the revisions that students make to their written explanations after teacher responding and very few explore this in authentic classroom contexts. Four high school geometry teachers and thirty of their students participated in project-based tasks examining the relationships between scale factor and the dimensions, surface area, and volume of a rectangular prism. The teachers’ written feedback and the students’ written explanations were coded and scored. Results show that student explanations improved significantly after students received feedback about their mathematical ideas. Furthermore, results indicate that the teacher feedback may be more effective if it focuses on mathematical relationships between variables and that additional feedback about the variables alone may have little impact. Results contribute to an understanding of how eliciting students’ written mathematical explanations might support effective teacher responding in classroom contexts.