mathematical discourse in the classroom

This gives students practice constructing arguments, providing justifications, and critiquing the thinking of others. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Adapting multiple choice items for group discussion,, It also fits in with socio-cultural views on learning where students working together are able to reach new understandings that could not be achieved if they were working alone. The focus of the conversation is not simply the answer to the problem, but also the students’ strategies, discoveries, conjectures, and reasoning. be used to determine what students are thinking and understanding in order to build bridges between what they already know and what there is to learn; offer opportunities to develop agreed-upon mathematical meanings or definitions and explore conjectures. Solving mathematical problems and discussing various solution methods is an important part of learning mathematics. The math standards of all states emphasize the importance of student communication of mathematical ideas, making mathematical discourse a required process in learning mathematics. Students are expected to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. 2 Introduction Classroom discourse has become one of the key research topics in mathematics education. Educational Leadership, 63 (3), pp. While classroom discussions are nothing new, the theory behind classroom discourse stems from constructivist views of learning where knowledge is created internally through interaction with the environment. Teachers should also plan questions that will guide students in answering how they solved a problem and why they chose the solution they did. In order to help students summarize and understand their thinking as well as the thinking of others, it is essential to provide opportunities for students to talk through their ideas with others. 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. Retrieved May 31, 2006, from  A professional development resource for facilitating effective and mathematically productive classroom discussions is the Mathematics Discourse in Secondary Classrooms (MDISC) project (Herbel-Eisenman, Steele, and Cirillo, 2013) One way to prepare is to draft all possible student strategies, prioritize how those will be shared with the class, and anticipate places where there may be flaws in students’ thinking or misconceptions. 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. central focus. Encouraging talk about math in the classroom is easier with question stems. The problems posed should have multiple solution strategies, encourage investigation, promote reasoning, and require students to provide justifications for their thinking. The benefits of engaging students in mathematics classroom dialogues ", "Who has another way to think about this? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 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. Pose a problem and expect students to find their own way to a solution. Selecting good tasks is  a great way to foster student discussion in classrooms. Multiplication, and Estimation or not? Use True/False or open number sentences or statements to generate a range of answers that require individuals to justify them. In order for students to openly share their thinking and risk making mistakes in front of their peers, it is very important that they feel safe in a supportive classroom environment. Some students make comments that relate to procedure but never reach the deeper-level mathematical concepts. A conceptual explanation involves explaining why that process was selected – what are the reasons for choosing a particular way. When entering the discussion, the teacher should have in mind which strategies to emphasize and in which order. 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. In the first article in this series, I introduced four “influences or actions” that come from John Hattie’s (2017) groundbreaking research. The discourse of a mathematics classroom is important to note, then, because the language, representations, and behaviors in a class because the … Of course, it is unlikely that effective math discourse will spontaneously appear in a classroom. In classrooms where there is high-quality mathematical discourse, teachers and students ask challenging and thought-provoking questions, and there is skillful facilitation of meaningful discussions focused on the mathematics. Students also learn to engage in mathematical reasoning and debate. expecting students to explain and justify their answers, whether they are correct or not; emphasising the importance of contributing to the discussion by explaining their strategy rather than producing correct answers; expecting students to listen to and attempt to understand others' explanations; commenting on or redescribing students' contributions while notating the reasoning for the class on the board; having other students pose clarifying questions to the student explaining the problem; expecting students to explain why they did not accept explanations that they considered invalid; using students' names to label agreed-upon conjectures, e.g., "Natasha's rule". These can easily be used as whole-class discussion starters. 26-31. How will that work?". The tasks they use, the ways in which they organize the classroom, and the behaviors they model communicate expectations for classroom norms, including the ways students are expected to engage in classroom discussions.Depending on prior experiences, students might find these new expectations for engagement uncomfortable and may not be ready to plunge into …

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