Do Students Really Understand the Math Concept?


How can we be sure students understand the math concepts we are teaching, even when they have the right answer? When students can demonstrate understanding, they are better able to transfer and apply their knowledge. In this episode of our Fresh Ideas for Teaching podcast, we asked Marian Small, an internationally renowned mathematics educator, author, and professional learning consultant, “What Does Math Understanding Look Like?” Get ready to take notes as Dr. Small shares practical tips, questioning techniques, and strategies to promote mathematical reasoning and uncover true student understanding in the K-12 math classroom.

🎧 Listen to the full episode:

Podcast Guests:

Marian Small is an internationally renowned mathematics educator, author, and professional learning consultant. She supports a constructivist approach to mathematical instruction within K–12 classrooms. Dr. Small, whose career in education has spanned more than four decades, is considered one of the most influential math educators in Canada. She has authored or co-authored more than 85 math resources and traveled to mathematics classrooms around the world to provide consultation focused on improving understanding and performance in K–12 mathematics.

Kelsey Jenkins is the Director of Math Product Marketing at Savvas Learning. With over 10 years experience working in the math publishing industry, she has developed & launched award-winning K-12 math curriculum solutions across core, intervention, and supplemental product lines. She received her MBA from Wright State University.

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Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.


About the Author

Kelsey Jenkins

Director of Math Product Marketing