Investigating How Setting Up Cognitively Demanding Tasks is Related to Opportunities to Learn in Middle-­Grades Mathematics Classrooms

In this paper we focus on what happens when a task is first introduced to students as a crucial phase of instruction. We report on an empirical study of 132 middle grades mathematics teachers' instruction—in particular, the nature of the ways in which they introduced tasks, and the relationship between how they introduced tasks and the nature of students' opportunities to learn mathematics in the concluding whole class discussion.