Teaching students how to use discourse to learn math concepts helps them to reach the common core goal of being able to understand and explain the math they are doing, eighth-grade teacher Marsha Ratzel writes. Ratzel describes how she introduced her students to "mathematical discourse" and helped guide them in developing conjectures about increasingly difficult concepts. "My classroom is becoming more like the collaborative, challenging work environments my students will face in the future -- whether or not their careers have anything to do with math," Ratzel writes.

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