Facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse places a strong emphasis on meaningful discourse. Classroom discussion, dialogue, and discourse are the principal means of exchanging ideas, evaluating mastery, developing thinking processes, and reflecting on content and shared thoughts. The use of discourse in the mathematics classroom can be difficult to implement and manage. Facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse places a strong emphasis on meaningful discourse. Teachers should focus on assigning mathematical tasks that are appropriately challenging and enhance students’ learning. by Euthecia Hancewicz. When a class of students offers a range of responses and strategies to solve a problem, discussion arises over the validity of each response. Well-designed distractors provide alternatives that identify particular misconceptions. in reasoning and talking about math (Fogelberg et al., 2008; McKee & Ogle, 2005). Students are expected to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. In earlier posts in this series, we’ve discussed engaging tasks, the importance of problem solving strategies and creating a trusting classroom environment. Adapting multiple choice items for group discussion, http://www.toolkitforchange.org/toolkit/documents/541_39_ttlclassdiscuss.pdf, http://www.nzmaths.co.nz/sites/default/files/Numeracy/References/PaulCobb.ppt. Neill, A. Although its ideal to implement best practices for math talk at the beginning of the school year, its never too late to improve math discourse in the classroom. While mathematical discourse is recognized as a fundamental part of students' development of mathematical thinking, making students' verbal activities and language utilization an integral part of the mathematics classroom has been a long-standing educational concern (e.g. Mathematical discourse in the classroom has been conceptualised in several ways, from relatively general patterns such as initiation-response-evaluation (Cazden in "Classroom discourse: the language of teaching and learning," Heinemann, London, 1988; Mehan in "Learning lessons: social organization in the classroom." A Constructivist Perspective on Teaching and Learning Mathematics. What does _________ mean in terms of _________________ as it stated in the problem? Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn. In these proposals, mathematical discourse involving explanation, argumentation, and defense of mathematical ideas becomes a defining feature of a quality classroom experience. "Who has a different way to solve the problem? Classroom discourse in a mathematics classroom, for example, means having whole-class discussions around mathematics in such a way that students get to express their conceptual math understanding through reasoning, debate, and an exchange of ideas. Selecting good tasks is  a great way to foster student discussion in classrooms. Addition, Who is estimating? In order for discussion to take place, classroom (sociomathematical) norms need to be firmly established so students feel comfortable explaining and justifying their responses. Students learn how to listen in a way that prepares them to restate their partner’s thinking in their own words, as well as listening to understand and pose questions of their partner. My teaching is heavily influenced by John Seely Brown and Daniel Pink, who encourage teachers to incorporate more creativity and "playful thinking" into the classroom. Copyright © 2021 Ministry of Education, Wellington, New Zealand. The discourse of a mathematics classroom is important to note, then, because the language, representations, and behaviors in a class because the … Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The teacher needs to develop a deep knowledge of mathematics concepts and principles in order to understand the reasons behind students' errors. Pre-planning thought-provoking questions will ensure a high level of intellectual engagement during the lesson. A conceptual explanation involves explaining why that process was selected – what are the reasons for choosing a particular way. The discussions emphasize reasoning, proof, evaluation, and justification. followed by "John, does that describe your idea? Cirillo’s primary research interests include the teaching of disciplinary practices (e.g., mathematical proof and modeling), classroom discourse, and teachers’ use of … Refer to Concept Cartoons and Adapting multiple choice items for group discussion. Students learn to critique their own and others' ideas and seek out efficient mathematical solutions. Mathematical discourse is the way students represent, think, talk, question, agree, and disagree in the classroom. Mathematical discourse allows us to really listen to the students' thinking. Encouraging talk about math in the classroom is easier with question stems. These can easily be used as whole-class discussion starters. She received her PhD from Iowa State University in 2008 after working as a high school mathematics teacher in New York for eight years. By making these predictions in advance of the class discussion, teachers will have a clear sense of the critical  thinking to look for as the students are working and an idea of how they wish to shape the classroom discussion. Using this example, I discuss how the distinction between everyday and mathematical discourse can help or hinder us in hearing the mathematical content in student talk. Educational Leadership, 63 (3), pp. Pose a problem and expect students to find their own way to a solution. It can be overwhelming for students to hear and understand the reasoning behind too many different strategies at once particularly students who are perceived to be at risk. Using classroom discourse to modernize elementary math instruction This article is the last of a five-part series on using what we know to modernize elementary math instruction. In the first article in this series, I introduced four “influences or actions” that come from John Hattie’s (2017) groundbreaking research. Retrieved Feb 5, 2014, from http://www.toolkitforchange.org/toolkit/documents/541_39_ttlclassdiscuss.pdf, Cobb, P. (2006) Supporting Productive Whole Class Discussions. ( Log Out /  Multiplication, and Estimation or not? For instance, after presenting a problem, students may be asked to represent or state in their own words what the problem is asking, then share that with a partner. Rather, a critical reading of any form of mathematical discourse must necessarily take into account the multisemiotic nature of its makeup. One of the most important things teachers should do to ensure the success of discussions is to ask meaningful questions and facilitate the dialogue among students. The teacher has to decide when to step in and provide an explanation, when to model, and when to ask pointed questions that can shape the direction of the discourse. However, creating the right conditions for these discussions and facilitating conversations that emphasize a deep study of the mathematics is a challenging task. Students learn from one another and value the thinking of their peers. Discourse in the Mathematics Classroom. This gives students practice constructing arguments, providing justifications, and critiquing the thinking of others. How will that work?". Ask questions that are designed to keep students puzzling like "How are we going to figure this out?" Teachers need to understand that learning productive math talk it is a process, and it will take time and effort to make it happen. Everyone should understand their role in the classroom through the development of classroom norms. The goal for  mathematical discussion is to support students by  helping them to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Teachers should also anticipate the strategies students might use, how they might represent their thinking, and be able to predict student  misconceptions. Discourse Through Mathematical … The formal statement that accompanies this teaching practice is: “Effective teaching of mathematics facilitates discourse among students to build shared understanding of mathematical ideas by analyzing and comparing student approaches and arguments” (Principles to Actions, p. 29). Mathematical discourse has been articulated as one of the Common Core Mathematical Practices: construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.Sounds stuffy and maybe even intimidating, right? Students will definitely come up with strategies that the teacher has not predicted but teachers will be far more prepared to make sense of these approaches to problem solving when they have thought ahead about what students might bring to the experience. http://www.nzmaths.co.nz/sites/default/files/Numeracy/References/PaulCobb.ppt. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. With all of those benefits taking place in one math lessons, engaging students in mathematical discourse is a MUST DO in every upper elementary classroom. In this way students have to be able to not only perform a mathematical procedure but justify why they have used that particular procedure for a given problem. Burns, M. (2005). Rich classroom discourse offers students a way to express their ideas, reasoning, and thinking. 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