T- Class, does anyone agree or disagree with Jaden and why? 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. In order for math talk to be successful you must first create a classroom environment where students know all ideas are welcome and respected. Classroom discussions are a perfect place to develop students’ ability to use textual evidence. Jaden added and Kyle subtracted, but they both got the same answer. Within the first month of school, my third graders were able to … 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. Every educator has been there. 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. To employ this strategy in an asynchronous session of distance learning, I have utilized Google Docs to pose a question on a collaborative document and required students not only to add their own individual response but also to assess the responses of their classmates by using the comments feature. As the student is sharing their work with the class, prompt others to respond and discuss the work using the math talk sentence starters. What is a Whole Class Discussion? 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. 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 means kids need rich, interesting problems to solve. When it is used correctly it increases students’ enjoyment of the class and strengthens students’ understanding of concepts. Before I stepped into the classroom as an educator for the first time, I had fantasized about what it would be like. The student I choose to share does not need to have the right answer. Once students are able to see the work, they are able to openly discuss mistakes and how to fix them. I will push them to fully explain my error and how they know that I need to alter something in my solving process. While I recognized that my fantasy was a bit of a stretch even before I began, I very quickly realized that I needed to make some major adjustments to my instructional planning to create the type of highly engaged and high-performing classroom I wanted. Based on a four-year research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this … A classroom discussion falls flat. Some more dogs came. It may be helpful to have another teacher join you to help model it. This strategy can easily be applied during a synchronous session of distance learning in the same way as in person. 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. Students would have pencils to paper for the entire 90-minute block and would readily digest the material. How many dogs came to the park? While students share, I scan student work looking for specific strategies that I want to highlight. 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. Can you prove your thinking? Over the last 20 years, mathematics educators have observed and analyzed alternatives to recitation, a common talk format found in typical U.S. classrooms. In this brief, after describing and providing examples of recitation and discussion, some benefits of discussion in mathematics class will be presented. Encourage children to use "scenes" and toys to act out situations such as three … Why? While students share, I scan student work looking for specific strategies that I want to highlight. Give kids math they can talk about. Make a paper plate clock. 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. Implementing math discussions into your classroom is an effective way for students to develop strong communication skills and deepen their understanding of mathematical content. My first step was to circle the 5 because there were already 5 dogs. It’s a challenging task. 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. Over the last 20 years, however, mathematics educators have observed and analyzed alternatives to recitation, the ques- tioning pattern described above. 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. 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. 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. How to Engage Students in Meaningful Math Discussions. 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. 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. By Rachel Fuhrman. S- He used a number line and started at 5. In particular, a growing body of literature supports the use of discussion in mathematics class. Use children's toys. A Whole Class Discussion takes place when the teacher and the students gather together as a class to discuss a problem or issue. While this is an obvious focus in literacy instruction, it seems it has been slower to catch on in math. They have dry erase boards to work out solutions. 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. 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. Over the past three years as a sixth-grade math teacher, I have developed a number of strategies that have catapulted my classroom from the rigid and dry lecture halls of my imagination to the highly engaged and passionate places for deep exploration that they are today. Example Question: There are 5 dogs in the park. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. I recommend taking time as a whole-class to come up with rules for math talk. Required fields are marked *. 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. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 9, 38-43. In an effective mathematics classroom, an observer should find that students are (Protheroe, 2007): xActively engaged in doing mathematics. Lily, how do you think these strategies are different? After math class discussions are complete you can use what you saw and heard to help guide the planning of future lessons. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Buy Classroom Discussions In Math: A Teachers Guide for Using Talk Moves to Support the Common Core and More, Grades K-6: A Multimedia Professional Learning Resource- With Dvd 3rd edition (9781935099567) by Suzanne H. Chapin for up to 90% off at Textbooks.com. 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. This hands‑on craft … 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. 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! July 28, 2020. no_limit_pictures / iStock. This way your students can hear what an authentic, back-and-forth discussion using the stems would sound like. Be intentional in who you choose to share. Instead, they know I expect them to check over their work and consider other strategies they could use to solve the problem. T- Ok Jaden so you got 6 dogs as your answer, because you knew 5 + 6 more was 11? Then I knew 6 were left so that means those are the 6 that came. Through text-based, whole classroom discussions, students can learn powerful norms and skills for collaboration such as listening, adding to others’ Instead of watching students trade ideas across the room, the teacher ends up playing verbal ping-pong with individual students while others get bored. 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. Develop discussion in Mathematics. Talking about mathematical concepts allows students to reflect on their own understanding while making sense of and critiquing the ideas of others. However, what does effective math talk in the classroom look and sound like? Using evidence in discussion strengthens students’ comprehension and confidence. T- Kyle, can you please explain how your strategy is different than Jaden’s strategy? S- I agree with Jaden because I also got 6 so I think he is right. 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. To start the session, students are seated close to me at the carpet area and the problem is projected on our screen. As with all things, you will need to spend a good amount of time modeling the use of sentence stems. This article explores ways to get your students thinking and communicating mathematically from the very first days of school. 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. Students should be metaphorically rolling up their sleeves and “doing mathematics” themselves, not watching others do the mathematics for them or in front of them. I used a different strategy though. 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. 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. 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 … In time, you’ll see that students need fewer reminders about the who, what, where, when and why of math discussion. Talking in Pairs. Jaden started with how many dogs were already there and added. 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. It makes them eager to ask questions and provide explanations. T- Hannah, can you repeat what Jaden just said? Are your students learning to tell time this year? 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. Listen in on their partner-share conversations and be on the lookout for new strategies that you want to highlight for the whole class. All the math discussion tips in the world will not be very helpful if we don’t give students something to talk about. Students solve independently while I observe and assist students who are having trouble getting started. 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. Instead, we as teachers can respond with “What do we think about that?” in response to a given answer. 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. Then I jumped until I got to 11. Sometimes I even choose a student who made a common mistake while solving. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications. 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). Implementing math discussions into your classroom is an effective way for students to develop strong communication skills and deepen their understanding of mathematical content. Additionally, I have employed this strategy by posting a video of myself solving a problem incorrectly and have asked students to identify the mistakes and provide the necessary corrections to reach the appropriate answer. Edutopia® and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries. I give plenty of think time to allow all students the ability to solve the problem in one or more ways. Your email address will not be published. Learn how your comment data is processed. Based on a four-year research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this resource is divided into three sections: [3] Chapin, S., O’Connor, C., & Anderson, N. (2013). S- I used a number line to figure out my answer. Online discussion can be motivating and encouraging for many students! Students solve independently while I observe and assist students who are having trouble getting started. They’ll be engaging in richer discourse that leads to increased understanding. Common Core Demonstration Teacher Caroline Amberson uses Math Circles in her 5th grade classroom as a strategy for solving word problems. 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. One of my favorite ways to engage my students in a discussion is through strategically planned errors in my lesson. The Common Core standards have brought a greater emphasis on higher order thinking skills to our classrooms. In particular, a growing body of literature supports the use of discussion in mathematics class. 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. It allows me to post videos with embedded questions, so that students can either respond in a short answer at the end of the video to assess my entire solving process or respond to questions throughout the video to state whether they agree or disagree with each step and why. They are a way for you to further support your students and/or guide the discussion in certain directions. Discussion is a tool to be used in the classroom. 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. Math Talk discussions are an effective way for students to develop strong communication skills and deepen their understanding of mathematical content. (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. They must feel comfortable making and sharing mistakes. Facilitating student engagement in mathematical discourse begins with the decisions teachers make when they plan classroom instruction. After a minute or so, call on a student to share their work. The student I choose to share does not need to have the right answer. 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. This allows them the opportunity to clarify their thinking and offer a peer a new perspective on solving. 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. If you are looking for more resources to use in your classroom you can download these below! 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”. 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. 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! Tell us what you were thinking. S- I think the answer is 6 more dogs because 5 + 6 = 11. As middle and high school math students talk through problems, they build camaraderie and gain greater conceptual understanding. Creating an Atmosphere for Useful Conjecture. 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”. Then I crossed out 5 of them because 5 were already there. T- (teacher) – Ok friends, everyone turn and talk to their elbow partners and share your work. Instead, they know I expect them to check over their work and consider other strategies they could use to solve the problem. 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. Educators can vary group sizes and activities before discussion. Common Core Standard of Math Practice 3 is: “construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.” xSolving challenging problems. Listen in on their partner-share conversations and be on the lookout for new strategies that you want to highlight for the whole class. Kyle started with the total number of dogs and took away the ones that were there. If they feel they have had a part in creating the norms, they will be likely to follow them. Your email address will not be published. I hope the information and resources I’ve shared today will help you to implement more meaningful math discussions into your day! As a result, they make new mathematical connections. Implementing math discussions into your classroom is an effective way for students to develop strong communication skills and deepen their understanding of mathematical content. 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. The Online Math “Classroom” – Best Practices for Discussions CCCOnline Math Department Webinar Friday, August 23rd, 2013 1 – 2:30 pm T- Class, excellent talk today. S- Yes, but I did not know I jumped 6 times until I counted. 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. Last year, an ed tech startup called Desmos faced a curious conundrum: Classrooms using its math app grew quiet, too quiet. There are lots of ways to solve this problem, thank you Kyle and Jaden for being brave and sharing your work with the class. (, 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.). It transforms them from passive to active listeners. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. As teachers we have had to make changes to our instructional practice to ensure our students meet these standards. It makes them eager to ask questions and provide explanations. Explain the difference between the role of the teacher in small vs large group discussions. So, when they solved… Provide Visual Cues for Reference. I have relied on the platform Edpuzzle to accomplish this. S- Well they are both right, but they solved it differently. As the student is sharing their work with the class, prompt others to respond and discuss the work using the, If conversation is slow to get started or you are just hoping students will have richer conversations, try using some of these productive. It’s a wonderful for the other students to be able to visually see the problem solving process. It is a tool that needs to be used correctly in order for it to help all of the students in a classroom. 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. 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. For almost two decades the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has been pushing for more writing and talking in math instruction and learning. the ability to solve the problem in one or more ways. Ok Kyle, what do you think? Sharing with a partner also helps build confidence in their problem solving abilities. 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. This generates an open-ended question, which allows multiple students to weigh in on the given answer: agreeing, disagreeing, providing additional evidence, etc. Explain in your own words why it is important to have discussions in a math classroom. Make math talk an expectation. Using mathematical discussions in the classroom is a powerful way to increase our students’ critical thinking and communication skills. As middle and high school math students talk through problems, they build camaraderie and gain greater conceptual understanding. T- Jaden does that sound like what you did? 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. He jumped 6 times until he got to 11. Mathematical Discussion. However, I will not immediately accept that they are right. 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. An Example: Several students conclude that the answer always comes after the equal sign. T- Who would like to share? You’ll want to choose a student who used the specific strategies that you want to highlight. It transforms them from passive to active listeners. Why? In an asynchronous session, I have utilized Google Docs in order to show students an incorrectly completed problem and have asked them to identify and correct the errors using the comments feature. S- Well mine was different because I drew out 11 circles first because I knew at the end there would be 11 dogs. These strategies provide a starting point for any teacher to begin to implement a more discussion-based approach to teaching mathematics. Wonderful for the entire 90-minute block and would readily digest the material other students to on! 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Using evidence in discussion strengthens students ’ enjoyment of the students in a classroom environment students. Correctly in order for it to help guide the discussion in certain directions I... They solved… provide Visual Cues for Reference problem is projected on our screen can you repeat math discussions in the classroom Jaden just?. Enjoyment of the students in a discussion is a powerful way math discussions in the classroom increase our students meet these standards critiquing ideas. George Lucas Educational Foundation in the classroom is an obvious focus in literacy,! S- he used a number line and started at 5 ve shared today will help you with. The free math talk to their elbow partners and share your work small large. Welcome and respected mathematics classroom, an ed tech startup called Desmos faced curious.