Category Archives: Intenttalk

#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.”


Professional Books #mtboschallenge

My plan was to just do the Sunday Summary #mtboschallenge, however I have been seeing some tweets lately about books for elementary preservice teachers so I thought I would compile a list of my favorites. This summer I have read more professional books than ever before so this will be a list of books from past years, this summer and my reading to-do list.

In the past years my favorite books in which I constantly reference, reread and recommend are:  Classroom Discussions by  Chapin and O’Connor,  Mindset by Dweck,  Number Talks by Parrish, Young Mathematicians at Work by Fosnot, Extending Children’s Mathematics by Empson/Levi, What’s Math Got to Do With It by Jo Boaler and Beyond Pizzas and Pies by Julie McNamara.

This summer I finally had time to dive in and had time to read more than a few books and my twitter feed:

Principles to Action, NCTM – I like it for looking at what makes a good task, what a teacher does, what students do. I have just picked and chosen things I have wanted to read about so far in this book. Have not read cover to cover.

5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions by Smith and Stein – This is something that I think more teachers need to think heavily about…..great practices to instill in teachers planning process. Read this cover to cover.

Agents of Change by Lucy West – We are moving into a content coaching model in our schools this year and after seeing Lucy West present, I appreciated her upfront, honest approach. Her book did not disappoint.

Faster Isn’t Smarter by Seeley – This book is a great reaffirming reference for me for use with parents and teachers.

Powerful Problem Solving by Max Ray and Math Forum – Read this cover to cover. Very fast and fluent read because it is filled with interesting, applicable activities and student work.

Connecting Arithmetic to Algebra by  Bastable, Russel, Schifter – I saw Virginia Bastable speak this summer and was drawn to her message. I have read the first few chapters of her book and interested in more work with teachers this year in making claims and looking at repeated reasoning.

Future readings I have sitting on my shelf or being shipped:

Putting the Practices into Action by O’Connell and SanGiovanni

Connecting Mathematical Ideas by Boaler and Humphreys

Intentional Talk by Kazemi and Hintz

So much to learn, so little time to read coming up….I anticipate Investigations being my major reading in the near future!

Happy Reading,