Minds on Mathematics Chapter 5

Ok folks.. we are about half way through this book: Minds on Mathematics by Wendy Ward Hoffer... she's got to be pulling out the practical stops pretty soon.  Chapter 5 seems to be the last part of theory that we are reading.  It is called Discourse.  The PoD is:  Why and How can teachers facilitate learners and engage them in purposeful and meaningful CONVERSATIONS about their thinking?

In  a nutshell it talked about engaging learners, promoting understanding through meaningful conversation and supporting academic language development... hello.. again my friend.. COMMON CORE CURRICULUM STANDARDS... hello my friend.. hello....sorry I'm channeling the Neil Diamond that was in the elevator at the mall yesterday... Again I'm coming back to those DUH moments that I've had about how I use so many of these strategies in my language arts portion of the day, and then drop them in math.  Silly me.. I could have made this so much easier on myself.

On page 80 in the book, Hoffer has an example of ways that students can share mathematical thinking.  I believe that they really can accomplish meaningful conversation with a little prompting and modeling at the beginning of the school year.  I'm planning to add a CONVERSATION CARD to the front of my Interactive Math Notebook this year.  It includes sentence starters and prompts to help students have meaningful math conversations in the classroom.  When school begins, I'm going to do a lot of modeling about math conversations using this card.  Then as we are working in groups, I'm going to have students pull out the cards and keep them on the table so they can use the starters as prompts when needed.
Hopefully, with a little practice, there will be an amazing increase in conversation and reflection in my classroom.
I'm happy to share the cards when I get them finished.  I have a little tweaking to do, but I should be able to post a link with them when I talk about Chapter 6: Opening (FINALLY the practical workshop portion) on Tuesday.  Bear with me until then... we have a busy softball tournament this weekend.

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1 comment

  1. The conversation card sounds like a wonderful idea. I can't wait to see what it looks like.

    We were at a BB tourney in WI Dells this past weekend. We stayed at the Great Wolf Waterpark and had the best time with several other families. Hope your tourney went well.


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