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

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