Talking in Math Class – Oh My!

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Talk about math. Talk about anything you like about math. Talk about it anywhere, with anyone. Tell them why it’s great. Tell them how you think. Tell them how it surprises you, how it charms you, and how it all fits together.

Kids Love to talk!  We talk about our reading, our writing, our science, our personal lives. Admit it, people LOVE to talk!  We should be talking in our math classes as well! The key however, is to ensure that the talk is productive and leads to deeper mathematical understanding.  In the math classroom we can promote higher order thinking by engaging our students in productive and guided math talks.

I am a K-5 collaborative special education teacher and a Masters student focused on Elementary Mathematics Specialist.  In my studies two ideas and philosophies have emerged that have changed my life, and thus my student’s lives.  Those two ideals are constructivist learning and productive math discussions.  Of course I have gained unmeasurable knowledge through collaboration and discussions with my fellow learners and together we have grown through our readings and research.

Following are a few of the readings we have utilized and then three presentations I have developed, and one developed by one of my favorite math nerds of all time, Moriah Widener.  I would love it if you would use these resources for your personal growth, and please, feel free to share them with your colleagues or in staff development sessions.  It is through support and collaboration that we all grow as teachers!

Happy Mathing!

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About the Author: Melynee Naegele

I am an elementary special education teacher at Roosa Elementary in Claremore, OK. I have been teaching in some capacity since I graduated from OSU in 1986. I have taught every grade PK-12 at some point in my career, and have even worked with adults with disabilities. I started graduate school in January 2013 and have completed all of the course work required for my Oklahoma Elementary Mathematics Specialist endorsement, and anticipate graduating in 2015. I am a new math nerd, and am loving learning and teaching with an inquiry and problem solving approach!

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