
Communication among Students (video)
Shows how activities
like this allow students to use communication as a tool to deepen
their understanding of mathematics, as described in the Communication Standard. 
Video Segment
Download Video
 Transcript Begins 
Girl 1: So we need to get twofourths to get a whole, but we need to get, um, this is actually here.
Boy 1: Fivefifths, fivesixths, next card.
Boy 1: Threesixths.
Girl 1: Threesixths.
Narrator: One of the benefits to having students share their strategies and having students work together is they bring things to their own language, they expand upon the ideas with their examples, and they question and challenge each other in a different way so they can get to a truer meaning of the math.
Boy 1: Wait, are we moving?
Girl 1: We're moving.
Boy 1: We're done.
Boy 1: Wait, we can't move thirds because we already did it.
Girl 1: I got threefourths.
Boy 1: Oh, yeah. Okay.
 Transcript Ends 
The video clip below shows a pair of students working together to determine
the next move in the Fraction Tracks game. Watch this clip and find instances
in which the students seem to be exploring a mathematical idea. Does the
communication between the students seem to play a role in their mathematics
learning?
Discussion
In grades 3–5 students' abilities to learn from, and work with,
others should expand. They should become more skilled in speaking to one
another and in convincing or question their peers. The discourse should
focus on making sense of mathematical ideas and on using mathematical
ideas effectively in modeling and solving problems. When thinking is discussed
regularly in the classroom, students feel comfortable describing their
thinking, even if their ideas are different from the ideas of their peers.
Discourse is not a goal in itself; rather, the value of mathematical discussions
should be judged by whether students are learning important mathematics
as they participate in them.
Take Time to Reflect
 What is the quality of the interactions between the students in this video clip? Is their communication effective?
 Is there evidence that the students are listening to each other?
 What are the main mathematical ideas?
 How can a teacher encourage students in grades 3–5 to speak and write about their mathematical conjectures, questions, and solutions?
Video Credit
WGBH, Boston. "Fraction Tracks." In Teaching Math: A Video Library, 5–8. Funded and distributed
by the Annenberg/CPB Math and Science Project, P.O. Box 2345, S. Burlington,
VT 054072345, 1800LEARNER.
Also see:
 5.1 Communicating About Mathematics Using Games
 5.1.1 Playing Fraction Tracks
 5.1.2 The Role of the Teacher
 5.1.4 Reflecting on Practice