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.”