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!
- Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies, Grades K 5, Updated with Common Core Connections
- Classroom Discussions In Math: A Teacher’s Guide for Using Talk Moves to Support the Common Core and More, Grades…by Suzanne H. Chapin and Catherine O’Connor
- Math Talks To Develop Mathematically Literate Citizens – Melynee Naegele
- Developing Understanding with Math Talks – Melynee Naegele
- Five Practices for Conducting Productive Math Talks – Melynee Naegele
- Number Talks for Computational Fluency – Moriah Widener
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