Math Talk

Math Talks are a great idea, but I wish I knew how to get my students to push themselves beyond their comfort level and beyond their current level of understanding.  Many of my students generally struggle with grade level math concepts and when posed a question and told to think about an answer – they don’t.  They do not have the resources to even begin thinking about the problems let alone coming up with a strategy to solve.

Questions I have:

1)  How do you ramp the problems without going to far or making the problem too long?

2)  How do you encourage students without leading them?  This has been a part of the training I have received through Profession Development (West Cook Math Initiative), but I still struggle with this since it is hard to let one math talk take an entire period or more if I don’t step in and say something…

3)  How do you really get students motivated to learn and learn from others?  This applies to all math, but in a math talk where they should be hearing their peers discuss the strategies they used and how they solved the problems, how do you get students invested in their own learning?

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July 17 – Share a great classroom management strategy:  I am not sure if I have one.  I guess I just start with a strong sense of what is expected and then I loosen up as the year goes by.  Once you know the few students to keep an eye on – it is easier.  I can make sure they are on task without spending all my time with them.  Part of it is seating arrangement and part of it is standing in a place that allows you a view of that student without standing next to them.  I also plan on using Class Dojo this year to help with behavior issues.

Once there is an issue – I prefer to talk with the student one on one to get to the bottom of why they are doing what they are doing.  If anything, it takes them to a place where they must confront what they did out of the way of other students and hopefully I get a real answer from my middle school students. :/

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