Generating Math Talk That Supports Math Learning
Here's an excerpt from an article by Lisa Ann de Garcia of Math Solutions that illustrates how to get students talking in math class. To read the full article, please follow the link at the bottom.
Due to the attention in the last few years on discourse and its importance to student learning, educators nationwide are finding that they can help children become confident problem solvers by focusing on getting them to talk and communicate in partnerships, small groups, whole groups, and in writing. In addition, English Language Learners are flourishing as they experience focused opportunities for talking and trying on new mathematical vocabulary.
So what exactly is discourse? What are the teaching practices associated with successfully establishing an environment to support it, and as a result, to improve mathematical proficiency? How does one begin to elicit meaningful talk during math lessons? As a profession, we share a vision about the role student discourse has in the development of students’ mathematical understanding, but are often slow to bring the students along. Children do not naturally engage in this level of talk.
This article addresses the above questions and concerns—and more. It opens with a look at discourse through NCTM’s definition and its involvement with the Common Core State Standards. It then focuses on literature available on discourse, specifically the book Classroom Discussions, and addresses five teaching practices focused on the how to of getting students talking about mathematics. The article concludes with journaling insights on discourse from a kindergarten and second-grade classroom. This article is by no means an exhaustive list of discourse “to dos;” hopefully it will however get us all started in thinking about and implementing best talk practices.
Read the full article to explore the 5 teaching practices to get students talking about math.
To learn more about Math Talk and find resources for implementing these practices in your classroom, visit the Math Solutions – Math Talk website.