Mathematical Practice 1: Make Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving ThemAccording to the results of The TIMSS Videotape Classroom Study (Stigler, Gonzales, Kawanka, Knoll, & Serrano, 1999), teachers typically "design lessons that remove obstacles and minimize confusion [where] procedures for solving problems would be clearly demonstrated so students would not flounder or struggle" (p. 137).

Module VocabularyA problem is defined as a situation, be it real or contrived, in which a challenge (question or unknown) that requires an appropriate response (such as an answer, solution, explanation, or counterexample) is presented and for which the person facing the challenge does not have a readily accessible appropriate response (Kantowski, 1980).


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Extend Your UnderstandingWatch the video excerpt below to view an example of a teacher engaging students in sensemaking and mathematical perseverance.
Cecilio Dimas leads a lesson on constructing, communicating, and evaluating studentgenerated tables while making comparisons between three different financial plans, helping students use multiple representations of mathematical problems: verbal, tabular, graphical, and algebraic generalization. In this clip, Dimas asks his students to examine a table comparing DVD rental plans, and ask themselves, “Does this make mathematical sense? Why or why not?” This clip is also indicative of Mathematical Practice 3. 