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Characteristics of Successful Mathematics Groups

• All group members are present.

• Group members arrive prepared.

Everyone is encouraged to participate and everyone's contribution is valued.

Individuals take personal responsibility for making a contribution.

• Members listen actively. They don't interrupt and they don't tune out.

• The group discusses problems until there is general understanding. Just getting an answer (even a correct one) is not the ending point.

Decisions on correctness are based on logic and reasoning, not on group pressure.

• The group encourages multiple approaches to solving a problem. There may be many correct methods and even false starts are often helpful.

• From time to time the group reflects on how well it is working together.


Reminder: Question-asking is the engine that drives mathematical investigations.


adapted from a handout of Tamara Veenstra's

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