Questions? Comments? Wonderings?
Meaningful mathematical discourse involves the exchange of ideas as learners actively engage in classroom discussions and results in mathematics classroom that “gives students opportunities to share ideas and clarify understanding, construct convincing arguments regarding why things work, develop a language for expressing mathematical ideas, and learn to see things from other perspectives” (NCTM 2014).
Now, I can hear the commentary already-
“My kids do not know how to answer higher-level questions.”
That’s where WE come in. We must explicitly teach your students how to engage and respond daily, e.g., where to sit, where to look, sentence starters, co-creating an appropriate list of academic terms students can use in the conversation, providing wait time, letting them explain how they did or will do it their way.
“I need to make sure they know their basic facts before they can have higher-level conversations.”
No, you don’t.
I don’t have time to have conversations. –
You don’t have time not to have conversations because if your students cannot participate in mathematical discussions, they will be unable to make sense of and solve the higher-order thinking problems state assessments and each following grade level requires.
If your students are not communicating clearly, they are underperforming.