Routines for Reasoning

Lesson Plans and Resources:

You can find Liz' lesson plans in this google drive folder.
Book Reference: Kelemanik, G, Lucenta, A. and Janssen Creighton, S. (2016). Routines for Reasoning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Overview of the Capturing Quantities Routine:

The purpose of the Capturing Quantities routine is to support students in looking for and representing quantities and relationships (Kelemanik, Lucenta, and Janssen Creighton, 2016). The student learning objective associated with this routine is for students to “think like mathematicians” and find quantities and relationships in word problems and diagrams. There are four main steps to this routine, and for more details on this, see the above lesson plans or read the incredibly enlightening book Routines for Reasoning, for yourself.

  1. Introduce the thinking goal and describe routine steps
  2. Identify quantities & relationships
  3. Create diagrams
  4. Discuss diagrams
  5. Reflect on learning

It is worth noting that, in steps 1 through 4, students are in dialogue with each other. To get the most out of these routines, students should not be directing their answers or explaining their thinking to the teacher – they should be doing this with partners, small groups, and eventually, the whole class.

Overview of the Connecting Representations Routine:

The purpose of the Connecting Representations routine is to support students in chunking, changing and connecting information that is represented in expressions, images, and diagrams. Once again, we want students to “think like mathematicians,” but this time they are using mathematical structure to match different representations. There are five steps to the Connecting Representations routine, and the peer-to-peer conversations generated via the routine reveal valuable insight about students’ understandings and essential concepts.

  1. Introduce the thinking goal and describe routine steps
  2. Independent think time
  3. Make connections
  4. Share & study connections
  5. Create representation
  6. Reflect on learning

Overview of the Recognizing Repetition Routine:

In the Recognizing Repetition routine, students look for repetition in the way they build and generalize within a problem scenario. Tasks within this routine provide a rich opportunity for students to use varied modalities of learning – building blocks, drawing, cutting and creating, etc. Regardless of modality or modalities selected for learning, students look for regularity in their counting, calculating, and constructing processes. Like the other routines, you can break down Recognizing Repetition routine into four steps:

  1. Introduce the thinking goal and describe routine steps
  2. Notice repetition
  3. Generalize repetition
  4. Discuss generalizations
  5. Reflect on learning

Overview of the 3 Reads Routine:

Historically, as a math teacher, I have been reluctant to prioritize routines like the 3 Reads that was proposed in this book. However, as I have listened to student conversations and explanations, I realize that all my students struggle with the reading comprehension piece of text-based problems. Indeed, Kelemanik, Lucenta, and Janssen Creighton pointed out that all students, regardless of ability, are still learning to read. Reading is so essential across disciplines, and I used to assume, like so many other teachers, that because students can read the words aloud, they must also understand the information and images conveyed by the words. Now I understand how wrong I was. And so it was with a “growth mindset” that I approached this routine, and indeed, my patience was rewarded. My students demonstrated both the need for and benefit of this reading routine. Before giving my middle school students reading time, I find myself coaching them using the very same language I was taught as a college student: “Don’t simply read the text, attack it! You want no detail left unexamined.” While there are several versions of a 3 Reads routine, the routine developed by Kelemanik, Lucenta, and Janssen Creighton is as follows:

  1. Introduce the thinking goal and describe routine steps
  2. 1st Read What is the problem about?
  3. 2nd Read What is the question?
  4. 3rd Read What is the important Information?