Retrieved May 31, 2006, from  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." The calculational explanation involves explaining how an answer or result was arrived at – the process that was used. Mathematics is not about remembering and applying a set of procedures but about developing understanding and explaining the processes used to arrive at solutions. Mathematical tasks should investigate important mathematical ideas and have authentic contexts and relevance for students. Providing a number of alternatives may scaffold the students' thinking. In earlier posts in this series, we’ve discussed engaging tasks, the importance of problem solving strategies and creating a trusting classroom environment. Educational Leadership, 63 (3), pp. We strongly feel everyone benefits from mathematical discourse in the classroom: teachers are better able to access, monitor and evaluate students’ mathematical understanding and development; and students can reflect on their own understanding while making sense of and critiquing the ideas of others in a collaborative and supportive learning environment. Chapin, O'Connor & Anderson. Students learn to critique their own and others' ideas and seek out efficient mathematical solutions. 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. It is generally claimed to form an isolated discourse domain. ", "Can you explain what John just said in your own words?" For instance, the teacher might ask: Teachers should also share student responses with the whole class and prioritize which strategies should be shared first. How the strategy works To successfully engage students in mathematical discourse teachers need to foster community in the classroom, help students feel safe expressing ideas, and demonstrate that math can be fun. Mathematical discourse is the way students represent, think, talk, question, agree, and disagree in the classroom. 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) 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. 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. Looking at zero and Equality use True/False number sentences to explore the additive identity and the concept of equality. Engaging students in effective classroom talk begins by creating a discourse-rich classroom culture. These can easily be used as whole-class discussion starters. Establishing this classroom culture can be done by: Paul Cobb (2006) states that there are two parts to a mathematical explanation. Listen and watch rather than indicate whether responses are right or wrong. The use of discourse in the mathematics classroom can be difficult to implement and manage. 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. Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn. Change ). 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. 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 teacher needs to develop a deep knowledge of mathematics concepts and principles in order to understand the reasons behind students' errors. Some students may have difficulty explaining their reasoning. 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). "I don't understand. This article illustrates how research about mathematical discourse can be translated into practice. In Neill's 2005 set article on estimation, refer to the 'Method' section and Figure 2 which describe an extended process that includes discussion. in reasoning and talking about math (Fogelberg et al., 2008; McKee & Ogle, 2005). Students learn from one another and value the thinking of their peers. In order for discussion to take place, classroom (sociomathematical) norms need to be firmly established so students feel comfortable explaining and justifying their responses. Use True/False or open number sentences or statements to generate a range of answers that require individuals to justify them. 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. Students construct meaning of the mathematics they encounter through many experiences. 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. Teachers and students construct an understanding of their roles and relationships, and the expectations for their involvement classroom. Classroom Discourse. Students are expected to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Discourse can be used at any time during a unit of work. Teachers need to understand that learning productive math talk it is a process, and it will take time and effort to make it happen. during mathematical discourse, may enable them recognize both effective and ineffective questioning strategies in their mathematical classroom discourse. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The goal for  mathematical discussion is to support students by  helping them to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. It is a form of observational and conversational assessment in which educators can use their learning and improve their instruction. 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. Discourse in the Mathematics Classroom. Why are we ______________ in this problem. New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Burns, M. (2005). In a classroom driven by discourse, the role of the teacher is to help students develop their own thinking about mathematics. Examples of ARB resources that can be used for classroom discourse. Phi Delta Kappan, 77 (7), 492-499. Rich classroom discourse offers students a way to express their ideas, reasoning, and thinking. The discourse of a mathematics classroom is important to note, then, because the language, representations, and behaviors in a class because the … How will that work?". Looking at How Students Reason. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2014).It is argued that the mathematics classroom often suffers … Solving mathematical problems and discussing various solution methods is an important part of learning mathematics. In these proposals, mathematical discourse involving explanation, argumentation, and defense of mathematical ideas becomes a defining feature of a quality classroom experience. 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