Creating Math Talk Communities

  • Creating Math Talk Communities

    Erin L. Wagganer
    Use these five strategies to encourage meaningful classroom discussions.
    Twenty-one fourth graders are actively listening and constructively critiquing mathematical statements. Each student is eagerly participating in mathematical discussions that involve multiple strategies to discover solutions. What a dramatic change since the first months of school when the same students sat as quiet as stone statues, hoping their teacher would just tell them how to solve the problem. This mathematics classroom has transformed from students blurting out solutions and arguing over correct answers to a group that collaboratively perseveres through problem solving. Student cooperation is evident through the desire not only to justify strategies but also to learn different strategies from peers. This article will detail the value of math talk and five strategies for building such a community in your classroom.