math discussions in the classroom

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

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