PME-NA 43 – “That’s Crazy”: An Exploration of Student Exclamations in High School Mathematics Lessons

Brief research report by Sarina Simon, Rashmi Singh, and Leslie Dietiker

In this study, we explore the relationships between the types of student exclamations in an enacted lesson (e.g., “Wow!”) and the varying dramatic tensions created by the unfolding content. By analyzing student exclamations in six specially-designed high school mathematics lessons, we explore how the dynamic tension between revelations of mathematical ideas at the moment and what is yet to be known connects with the aesthetic pull to react by the student. As students work through novel problems with limited information, their joys and frustrations are expressed in the form of exclamations.

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