#IntentTalk Chapter 1


Since it was a bit too much for me to continually tweet, I decided to do a quick blog at lunch!

Principle 1: Discussions Should Achieve a Mathematical Goal

The first week of school my mathematical goals revolve around discussions about students’ mindset in terms of math, as well as the mathematical practices. I found this year that Talking Points and one of the tasks I found on Fawn’s blog fostered those goals. I blogged about it here. My tables are all arranged in groups and the students know from the very first day that discussions will be a huge part of our work together.

Principle 2: Students Need to Know What and How to Share

To support this in my classroom at the start of the school year, I have the students agree upon our class norms. They originate after doing a Number Talk together and reflecting on what we expect as a group during our discussions. I reference these norms throughout the course of the school year.


Principle 3: Teachers Need to Orient Students to One Another and the Mathematical Ideas

I find a lot this happens during our Number Talks and in then daily in our journal reflections. This is such a focus on my planning of questioning. Asking things such as, “Can you re-explain their thinking in your own word?” or “Did something ____ say change your mind about that way you were thinking?”

Principle 4: Teachers Must Communicate That All Students Are Sense Maker and That Their Ideas are Valued

I think this principle emerges during our very first round of Talking Points of the year when the students my go around their circle with no commenting from others. It allows students the opportunity to speak their ideas without judgement or comment. Being able to change their response on the second round, lets the group know that as we make sense of problems and listen to others, we change our mind, just as we do when we make errors. The freedom I see in their journal entries also reinforces the idea that I value their thinking and know that there is reasoning behind everything they write and do in my class.

“Talk is an important way to build that sense of community and to help children grapple with important mathematical ideas.”


4 thoughts on “#IntentTalk Chapter 1

  1. math barb (@barb_seaton)

    P1 – can’t agree more – you need to tackle that mindset piece! I use lots of @joboaler videos. In my grade 6 class we tackled some number talks on the basic facts for multiplication – facts that are a bit open routed, but have access by all, like doubles, or doubles and one more set.
    P2 – we used our Tribes agreements and sentence stems like those shared earlier by @KristinFrang
    P3 – hard work to change that orientation esp. when kids are used to student-teacher dialogue. Well worth the effort. I like your suggestions to redirect.
    P4 – In my class this comes from all the hard work we did building that safe learning environment at the start of the year.


  2. Elham Kazemi

    Reading your blogs at the end of the year, you can really see how the continual attention to students voicing their own reflections on the day really reaps rewards. You seem to get authentic comments where students can really express what they are thinking about, what’s making sense to them, and what’s not. And that you actually read and think about them.

    Liked by 1 person


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