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. In earlier posts in this series, we’ve discussed engaging tasks, the importance of problem solving strategies and creating a trusting classroom environment. Retrieved May 31, 2006, from  in reasoning and talking about math (Fogelberg et al., 2008; McKee & Ogle, 2005). The teacher needs to develop a deep knowledge of mathematics concepts and principles in order to understand the reasons behind students' errors. Does this solution make sense given what the problem is asking? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. This study may help both pre-service and in-service teachers as well as teacher-researchers to be well aware of their questioning practices by reflecting on the questioning strategies 2 Introduction Classroom discourse has become one of the key research topics in mathematics education. Classroom discussion, dialogue, and discourse are the principal means of exchanging ideas, evaluating mastery, developing thinking processes, and reflecting on content and shared thoughts. Even more exciting is that math discourse on one problem can help you retain your solution process and generalize it so you can do other problems more effectively as well. Facilitating student engagement in mathematical discourse begins with the decisions teachers make when they plan classroom instruction. The use of discourse in the mathematics classroom can be difficult to implement and manage. ( Log Out /  Multiplication, and Estimation or not? INTRODUCTION Classroom discourse is an interaction between teachers and learners and between learners and learners. After finding an entry point and solving a problem independently, students should share their strategies with a partner or in a group, prior to sharing with the whole class. 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. When a class of students offers a range of responses and strategies to solve a problem, discussion arises over the validity of each response. Teachers need to understand that learning productive math talk it is a process, and it will take time and effort to make it happen. Neill, A. Well-designed distractors provide alternatives that identify particular misconceptions. Some students make comments that relate to procedure but never reach the deeper-level mathematical concepts. 26-31. "Who has an idea?" Copyright © 2021 Ministry of Education, Wellington, New Zealand. ask students to identify which cartoon characters are estimating and which are not. The article shows two types of discourse, cognitive discourse and … Looking at How Students Reason. "I don't understand. central focus. Mathematical classroom discourse is about whole-class discussions in which students talk about mathematics in such a way that they reveal their understanding of concepts. The same students participate in every discussion while others contribute only when called on, and even then their contributions are sparse. The benefits of engaging students in mathematics classroom dialogues What does _________ mean in terms of _________________ as it stated in the problem? Students also learn to engage in mathematical reasoning and debate. "What should we do?" Selecting good tasks is  a great way to foster student discussion in classrooms. 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 … The math standards of all states emphasize the importance of student communication of mathematical ideas, making mathematical discourse a required process in learning mathematics. Listen and watch rather than indicate whether responses are right or wrong. In Neill's 2005 set article on estimation, refer to the 'Method' section and Figure 2 which describe an extended process that includes discussion. Pre-planning thought-provoking questions will ensure a high level of intellectual engagement during the lesson. How will that work?". 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. Teachers and students construct an understanding of their roles and relationships, and the expectations for their involvement classroom. Students construct meaning of the mathematics they encounter through many experiences. Rich classroom discourse offers students a way to express their ideas, reasoning, and thinking. In this article, the authors provide a comprehensive and critical review of what it is that mathematics teachers actually do to deal with classroom discourse. New Zealand Council for Educational Research. In order for discussion to take place, classroom (sociomathematical) norms need to be firmly established so students feel comfortable explaining and justifying their responses. It is a form of observational and conversational assessment in which educators can use their learning and improve their instruction. For the teacher this discussion offers opportunities to assess student understanding of mathematical concepts. . Benefits of Classroom Discourse. A Constructivist Perspective on Teaching and Learning Mathematics. 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. ( Log Out /  A teacher needs to have one eye on the underlying mathematical concepts while the other eye is focused on the current understandings of the students. Facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse places a strong emphasis on meaningful discourse. ", "Would someone like to add to that idea? National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2014).It is argued that the mathematics classroom often suffers … This gives the class the opportunity to explore and reach a common agreement on which method(s) would be successful and/or most efficient. Everyone should understand their role in the classroom through the development of classroom norms. Discourse is the mathematical communication that occurs in a classroom. Refer to Concept Cartoons and Adapting multiple choice items for group discussion. Schifter, D. (1996). The problems posed should have multiple solution strategies, encourage investigation, promote reasoning, and require students to provide justifications for their thinking. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Enacting classroom prac-tices that support discourse-based mathematical activity, however, poses difficult challenges for many teachers, as such practices often bear little resemblance to teachers’ current practices, or to the practices in which teachers participated as students themselves. Classroom Discourse. 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. This gives students practice constructing arguments, providing justifications, and critiquing the thinking of others. ", "Who has another way to think about this? 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 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) This article illustrates how research about mathematical discourse can be translated into practice. 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. Use True/False or open number sentences or statements to generate a range of answers that require individuals to justify them. Examples of ARB resources that can be used for classroom discourse. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Students learn from one another and value the thinking of their peers. Students learn to critique their own and others' ideas and seek out efficient mathematical solutions. Catherine A. Stein. 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. during mathematical discourse, may enable them recognize both effective and ineffective questioning strategies in their mathematical classroom discourse. She received her PhD from Iowa State University in 2008 after working as a high school mathematics teacher in New York for eight years. A mathematical task is regarded as a problem if students do not have easy access to a solution method (Schoenfeld 1985).Most problems can be solved in more than one way. 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". 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. Underlying the use of discourse in the mathematics classroom is the idea that mathematics is primarily about reasoning not memorization. Why did you _____________ when the problem asked for _____________? Discourse in the Mathematics Classroom. Many state standards place a strong emphasis on mathematical reasoning and deep content understanding. In the first article in this series, I introduced four “influences or actions” that come from John Hattie’s (2017) groundbreaking research. Mathematics is not about remembering and applying a set of procedures but about developing understanding and explaining the processes used to arrive at solutions. Retrieved Feb 5, 2014, from http://www.toolkitforchange.org/toolkit/documents/541_39_ttlclassdiscuss.pdf, Cobb, P. (2006) Supporting Productive Whole Class Discussions. 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. The focus of the conversation is not simply the answer to the problem, but also the students’ strategies, discoveries, conjectures, and reasoning. Ask questions that are designed to keep students puzzling like "How are we going to figure this out?" Discourse can be used at any time during a unit of work. by Euthecia Hancewicz. In a classroom driven by discourse, the role of the teacher is to help students develop their own thinking about mathematics. Mathematics is not about remembering and applying a set of procedures but about developing understanding and explaining the processes used to arrive at solutions. 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. It is generally claimed to form an isolated discourse domain. Engaging students in effective classroom talk begins by creating a discourse-rich classroom culture. 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. 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. Teachers should also anticipate the strategies students might use, how they might represent their thinking, and be able to predict student  misconceptions. 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. 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. Discourse Through Mathematical … Ultimately, mathematical tasks should be worthy of student discussion and emphasize important mathematical concepts. Mathematical discourse in the classroom is a win for everyone involved! For instance, if it is a problem dealing with subtraction, the teacher may choose to emphasize the use of an unmarked number line or adding up before having discussions about adding or subtracting the same number from the minuend and subtrahend in order to create an easier problem and not change the answer. The ability for individual students to participate in mathematical discussion can also be observed and assessed. Looking at zero and Equality use True/False number sentences to explore the additive identity and the concept of equality. Teachers should also plan questions that will guide students in answering how they solved a problem and why they chose the solution they did. How the strategy works Mathematical discourse allows us to really listen to the students' thinking. They then need to explain and justify their answers, and this would naturally lead into a class or group discussion. Meaningful discussions in the mathematics classroom rely on purposeful instructional moves from the teacher, as well as a clear understanding of the demands that are placed on students. The problem of investigating “mathematical language,” however, extends beyond the examination of particular linguistic selections that occur in mathematical texts and classroom discourse. (these question are precursors to mathematical proof), Students may not arrive at an agreed-upon answer during their discussion. Of course, it is unlikely that effective math discourse will spontaneously appear in a classroom. Some students may have difficulty explaining their reasoning. The discourse in the mathematics classroom gives students oppor- tunities to share ideas and clarify understandings, construct convincing arguments regarding why and how things work, develop a language for expressing mathematical ideas, and learn to see things from other perspectives (NCTM 1991, 2000). For instance, the teacher might ask: Teachers should also share student responses with the whole class and prioritize which strategies should be shared first. "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. Estimating scores and crowds, Estimating sums of money, Estimating stamps, Estimating bags and boxes, Estimating in sport, Estimating people, and Estimating sweets get students to discuss and compare the estimation strategies they use on a problem, and use this to help introduce new methods of estimation to students. Who is estimating? 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. ", "Can you explain what John just said in your own words?" Encouraging talk about math in the classroom is easier with question stems. Think-Pair-Share can be used in conjunction with this method to encourage students to think about their response and discuss it with a partner before sharing with the larger group. Facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse places a strong emphasis on meaningful discourse. The teacher needs to be able to anticipate responses and respond spontaneously to students. Talking through your math thinking can help you work out the problem more effectively. These can easily be used as whole-class discussion starters. Students are expected to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. ( Log Out /  Mathematical tasks should investigate important mathematical ideas and have authentic contexts and relevance for students. Ways to encourage calculational explanations: Ways to encourage conceptual explanations: Classroom discourse has been used in research projects that have led to ARB resources. Explore the additive identity and the Concept of Equality can use their learning and improve their.! Talk, question, agree, and this would naturally lead into a class or discussion., the teacher needs to be able to predict student misconceptions practice constructing arguments, providing justifications, disagree... 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