I hope the information and resources I’ve shared today will help you to implement more meaningful math discussions into your day! Using evidence in discussion strengthens students’ comprehension and confidence. If conversation is slow to get started or you are just hoping students will have richer conversations, try using some of these productive “Talk Moves”. Make math talk an expectation. (, Once the norms for math talk have been well-established, mistakes can be highlighted and students typically won’t be bothered by being wrong in front of the class.). A Whole Class Discussion takes place when the teacher and the students gather together as a class to discuss a problem or issue. I would lecture from the front of the room while all students diligently hung on my every word, eager to learn what I had to share. While students share, I scan student work looking for specific strategies that I want to highlight. The Online Math “Classroom” – Best Practices for Discussions CCCOnline Math Department Webinar Friday, August 23rd, 2013 1 – 2:30 pm the ability to solve the problem in one or more ways. Then I crossed out 5 of them because 5 were already there. Required fields are marked *. However, what does effective math talk in the classroom look and sound like? Once students are able to see the work, they are able to openly discuss mistakes and how to fix them. Try to illicit things like “We listen to everyone’s ideas”, “It’s okay to make mistakes”, “Everyone’s ideas are important” from the students. Sometimes I even choose a student who made a common mistake while solving. S- Yes, but I did not know I jumped 6 times until I counted. Common Core Standard of Math Practice 3 is: “construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.” When done in a safe and supportive environment, it can help students gain higher order thinking skills, such as those now required by the Common Core Standards. Last year, an ed tech startup called Desmos faced a curious conundrum: Classrooms using its math app grew quiet, too quiet. One shift I believe we can make to better support our students is to move away from teacher-led talk in mathematics towards more student-to-student discussions, also known as “math talk”. All the math discussion tips in the world will not be very helpful if we don’t give students something to talk about. It transforms them from passive to active listeners. How many dogs came to the park? Talk Moves: A Teacher's Guide for Using Classroom Discussions in Math offers an award-winning, unparalleled look at the significant role that classroom discussions can play in teaching mathematics and deepening students' mathematical understanding and learning. Instead of watching students trade ideas across the room, the teacher ends up playing verbal ping-pong with individual students while others get bored. Based on a four-year research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this resource is divided into three sections: These sentence stems provide students with the word structure they’ll use when they have to explain their thinking, add on to another student’s thinking, disagree, or ask for clarification or help. Whether it’s one-on-one discussion so students can ask a question privately, or small or large group discussion, you can keep those important academic and social emotional conversations happening outside of the traditional classroom setting. T- (teacher) – Ok friends, everyone turn and talk to their elbow partners and share your work. This article explores ways to get your students thinking and communicating mathematically from the very first days of school. To allow students even greater opportunities to engage with one another, I have utilized the breakout rooms feature of Zoom so that students can discuss their thoughts in either pairs or small groups before sharing with the entire group. Math Talk discussions are an effective way for students to develop strong communication skills and deepen their understanding of mathematical content. If they feel they have had a part in creating the norms, they will be likely to follow them. Note: Before the lesson while planning, I have determined my focus for our math talk session. Based on a four-year research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this … In an effective mathematics classroom, an observer should find that students are (Protheroe, 2007): xActively engaged in doing mathematics. Why? One of my favorite ways to engage my students in a discussion is through strategically planned errors in my lesson. Too often the math talk that is heard comes from the teacher in the form of lecturing, asking students to recite facts, or posing questions with known answers. Why? Over the last 20 years, however, mathematics educators have observed and analyzed alternatives to recitation, the ques- tioning pattern described above. Your email address will not be published. Use children's toys. Creating an Atmosphere for Useful Conjecture. Anna is a member of the National Council of Teaching Mathematics, and had the opportunity to pilot the Illustrative Math curriculum in a sixth-grade classroom prior to this year’s implementation of the new curriculum, and is excited about creating rich math discussions in the classroom. While teachers are currently facing many challenges with how to best approach education in the midst of a pandemic, it is crucial that we remain consistent with utilizing teaching strategies like discussion that we know can help students build their knowledge of the content and strengthen their connections with one another regardless of whether they are in the same physical space. Make a paper plate clock. What is a Whole Class Discussion? In the next and final blog in this series, we will dive into the specific strategies that teachers can use to foster meaningful conversations about what students are thinking, doing and learning. Ayala said that before she took over, math lessons were basically one-size-fits-all, making it especially difficult for kids learning English to absorb what was being taught. T- Kyle, can you please explain how your strategy is different than Jaden’s strategy? (Once the norms for math talk have been well-established, mistakes can be highlighted and students typically won’t be bothered by being wrong in front of the class.). Teachers use the Desmos Activity Builder tool to create a … Students would have pencils to paper for the entire 90-minute block and would readily digest the material. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 9, 38-43. This hands‑on craft … This allows them the opportunity to clarify their thinking and offer a peer a new perspective on solving. T- So you started with 11 and worked back to 6, and Jaden started with 5 and worked to get to 11 but you both got the same answer. I really believe in the power of math talk so today I’m excited to share with you tips, suggestions and resources that I hope will be helpful to you as you implement it into your own classroom! Now there are 11 dogs. T- Jaden does that sound like what you did? Explain the difference between the role of the teacher in small vs large group discussions. To employ this strategy in a synchronous session of distance learning, I have utilized the whiteboard feature on Zoom as well as shown images of completed problems that have specific mistakes. In a district where almost 30 percent of the students are learning English, these goals have meant a radical change in how math is taught in the early grades. Take a deep dive into the five practices for facilitating productive mathematical discussions Enhance your fluency in the five practices—anticipating, monitoring, selecting, sequencing, and connecting—to bring powerful discussions of mathematical concepts to life in your elementary classroom. While this is an obvious focus in literacy instruction, it seems it has been slower to catch on in math. This way your students can hear what an authentic, back-and-forth discussion using the stems would sound like. S- Well mine was different because I drew out 11 circles first because I knew at the end there would be 11 dogs. xSolving challenging problems. In recent months, however, I have again had to assess my instructional planning to ensure that my student-centered approach was not lost in the shift to distance learning. Instead, we as teachers can respond with “What do we think about that?” in response to a given answer. Develop discussion in Mathematics. It’s often helpful to see or hear what something looks like in action in a real classroom, so now I’ll describe what a sample math talk session would look like in my 1st grade classroom. They’ll be engaging in richer discourse that leads to increased understanding. Then I knew 6 were left so that means those are the 6 that came. I will then wait for students to point these out. Additionally, I have utilized Flipgrid to allow students to record themselves providing responses to questions. In Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions (2011), Margaret Smith and Mary Kay Stein describe the importance of teachers clearly specifying the mathematical goal before planning out a discussion. July 28, 2020. no_limit_pictures / iStock. Tell us what you were thinking. When a student provides the correct answer to a posed question, it is easy to simply respond with “Yes!” While this does keep the pace of the class moving, it only ensures that one student out of an entire class knows the correct answer and closes off the opportunity to hear additional student voices. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Encourage children to use "scenes" and toys to act out situations such as three … T- Hannah, can you repeat what Jaden just said? An Example: Several students conclude that the answer always comes after the equal sign. I have relied on the platform Edpuzzle to accomplish this. Listen in on their partner-share conversations and be on the lookout for new strategies that you want to highlight for the whole class. If you are looking for more resources to use in your classroom you can download these below! This generates an open-ended question, which allows multiple students to weigh in on the given answer: agreeing, disagreeing, providing additional evidence, etc. MATHEMATICAL DISCUSSION IN THE CLASSROOM Exploring the role of discussion in the Mathematics classroom, particularly with reference to the aims and use of the plenary within the three part lesson of the National Numeracy Strategy. Because math talk engages students! In order for math talk to be successful you must first create a classroom environment where students know all ideas are welcome and respected. T- Yes Lily, that is an important thing you noticed. For example, if we are learning to use a number line to add as a strategy, I intentionally choose students who demonstrate understanding of the strategy to share with the whole class. While the content of this issue is aligned with mathematics and specifically the Standards for Mathematical Practice , there is relevance for facilitating meaningful classroom discussions in all content areas and grade levels. When it is used correctly it increases students’ enjoyment of the class and strengthens students’ understanding of concepts. Through text-based, whole classroom discussions, students can learn powerful norms and skills for collaboration such as listening, adding to others’ I like create a bulletin board for reference near our class meeting area and give my students a smaller version to keep in their math notebooks for partner work. Sometimes I even choose a student who made a common mistake while solving. In addition to engagement, these discussions have allowed students to build meaningful relationships with one another and increase both their conceptual knowledge and their self-confidence by working through challenges together both online and in person. After a minute or so, call on a student to share their work. A classroom discussion falls flat. Common Core Demonstration Teacher Caroline Amberson uses Math Circles in her 5th grade classroom as a strategy for solving word problems. I will push them to fully explain my error and how they know that I need to alter something in my solving process. I never want my slower students to feel like their thinking is not fast enough, so I don’t have students raise their hands when they finish. So, when they solved… Implementing math discussions into your classroom is an effective way for students to develop strong communication skills and deepen their understanding of mathematical content. As middle and high school math students talk through problems, they build camaraderie and gain greater conceptual understanding. Your email address will not be published. Some more dogs came. Once all videos are posted, students are required to watch a given number of videos and submit their responses stating whether they agree or disagree with their classmates and why. S- Well they are both right, but they solved it differently. Ok Kyle, what do you think? Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications. When done in a safe and supportive environment, it can help students gain higher order thinking skills, such as those now required by the Common Core Standards. Because math talk engages students! Anyone who has been in a classroom, especially a sixth-grade one, can easily find fault with my fantasy—there are very few students who want to be passively lectured at and fewer who plan on silently absorbing information for a full 90 minutes at a time. Be intentional in who you choose to share. In particular, a growing body of literature supports the use of discussion in mathematics class. Students solve independently while I observe and assist students who are having trouble getting started. Classroom Discussions In Math: A Teacher's Guide for Using Talk Moves to Support the Common Core and More, Grades K-6: A Multimedia Professional Learning Resource (third edition). This type of communication about mathematics is essential in helping students develop the thinking, self-questioning, and explanation skills they need to master the skills and concepts that are now required. Discussion is a tool to be used in the classroom. Kyle started with the total number of dogs and took away the ones that were there. For almost two decades the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has been pushing for more writing and talking in math instruction and learning. However, I will not immediately accept that they are right. Jaden added and Kyle subtracted, but they both got the same answer. As with all things, you will need to spend a good amount of time modeling the use of sentence stems. In time, you’ll see that students need fewer reminders about the who, what, where, when and why of math discussion. There are lots of ways to solve this problem, thank you Kyle and Jaden for being brave and sharing your work with the class. When done in a collaborative and supportive learning environment, this can support achievement of higher order thinking skills, as required by the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice. This follow-up to the modern classic, Five Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions, shows the five practices in action in Grades K-5 classrooms and empowers teachers to be prepared for and overcome the challenges common to orchestrating math discussions. Listen in on their partner-share conversations and be on the lookout for new strategies that you want to highlight for the whole class. When done in a safe and supportive environment, it can help students gain higher order thinking skills, such as those now required by the Common Core Standards. Once you feel your students are ready to have give it a go, start by posting a question to students and giving them time to work independently. It’s a wonderful for the other students to be able to visually see the problem solving process. Open and Closed Questions. For example, if we are learning to use a number line to add as a strategy, I intentionally choose students who demonstrate understanding of the strategy to share with the whole class. Using mathematical discussions in the classroom is a powerful way to increase our students’ critical thinking and communication skills. S-  I agree with Jaden because I also got 6 so I think he is right. It is a tool that needs to be used correctly in order for it to help all of the students in a classroom. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. As middle and high school math students talk through problems, they build camaraderie and gain greater conceptual understanding. Take time to describe the sentence starters and the use of each type. T- Class, does anyone agree or disagree with Jaden and why? Classroom Discussions in Math: A Teacher s Guide for Using Talk Moves to Support the Common Core and Moreoffers an award-winning, unparalleled look at the significant role that classroom discussions can play in teaching mathematics and deepening students' mathematical understanding and learning.Based on a four-year research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this … The student I choose to share does not need to have the right answer. This strategy can easily be applied during a synchronous session of distance learning in the same way as in person. I had to count up and found I jumped 6 times. How to Engage Students in Meaningful Math Discussions. Example Question: There are 5 dogs in the park. Meaningful discussions in the mathematics classroom rely on purposeful instructional moves from the teacher, as well as a clear understanding of the demands that are placed on students. (It seems to students that I randomly choose a student, but he has been intentionally chosen) Ok, Jaden, come up and share your work with the class. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Here is a sample math talk expectations chart: Once you’ve set up expectations as a class, it’s time to introduce your students to the sentence stems that they’ll be expected to use during math talk. Take a look at this 2 minute video to see how this teacher uses Talk Moves to encourage all students to be active in the math lesson! Once I have introduced a topic and am confident that my students understand the solving process, I will guide them through a problem and intentionally make common errors. Next, have them turn and talk to a partner. While distance learning has certainly altered the way in which I carry out my instructional strategies, I have continued to employ the below outlined strategies to ensure a high level of student engagement through discussions. Over the last 20 years, mathematics educators have observed and analyzed alternatives to recitation, a common talk format found in typical U.S. classrooms. S- He used a number line and started at 5. I typically use my standards based math warm ups for our 8-10 minute talk to build upon the math objectives that I am teaching. The discussions your students have will give you a more clear picture of what they understand and what things might be common misconceptions that need to be addressed again on another day. Explain in your own words why it is important to have discussions in a math classroom. The student I choose to share does not need to have the right answer. Educators can vary group sizes and activities before discussion. In Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn, Grades 1–6 (Math Solutions Publications, 2003), the authors present specific ways to lead classroom discussions that support students’ mathematics learning and promote their ability to think, reason, and solve problems. T- Class, excellent talk today. Implementing math discussions into your classroom is an effective way for students to develop strong communication skills and deepen their understanding of mathematical content. Before I stepped into the classroom as an educator for the first time, I had fantasized about what it would be like. As teachers we have had to make changes to our instructional practice to ensure our students meet these standards. S- I used a number line to figure out my answer. I never want my slower students to feel like their thinking is not fast enough, so I don’t have students raise their hands when they finish. The Value of Productive Discussion in Math Putting that poor result aside, the scenario of two students discussing different answers is exactly what we want in math classrooms. Ideas and resources to help you teach with BLISS! See full disclosure here.​, Math Talk Sentence Starters • Math Talk Posters, Math Task Cards • Math Warm Ups BUNDLE: Operations & Algebraic Thinking. Take a deeper dive into understanding the five practices—anticipating, monitoring, selecting, sequencing, and connecting—for facilitating productive mathematical conversations in your middle school classrooms and learn to apply them with confidence. Give kids math they can talk about. C., & Anderson, N. ( 2013 ) call on a four-year research funded... You are looking for specific strategies that you want to highlight for the other students to develop communication! 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