Math Talk Literature Review

2146 Words 9 Pages
As I began reviewing literature on math talks, I came to find many terms that are synonymous with math talk. Math discussions, discourse, talk moves, and argumentation are among several terms I encountered. All of these, I found to have the same goal: to get all students involved. To give them opportunities to think, communicate, and reason their ideas.

Classroom Environment
The stage must first be set to provide an environment so students feel safe in sharing their ideas. They need a place where they feel safe talking about mathematics. This will only happen if there is trust within the classroom. Affecting the ways ideas are exchanged and developed, math talk supports a social learning environment for children. It creates a community
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In small groups there is a focus on “thinking” instead of just “getting an answer” (Cooke & Adams, 1998). “If student’s have to defend their solution to others in small groups…they will develop a better understanding of the mathematics and more confidence in their own ability to solve difficult problems” (1998). Part of the skill students are developing is their ability to convince another student that their ideas are valid (1998). Modeling and showing students what they should look and sound like when working in small groups is important. To help them with focusing, let students know what they should be saying when they are talking in their group, “I should hear words like equal, not equal.” Letting students know what they should focus on when someone else in their group is sharing, helps make sure everyone is actively …show more content…
(Leinwood, 2014; Van de Wall, 2013) One common pattern is: teacher asks a question, student answers the question, teacher confirms or challenges the question. Van de Valle (2013) calls this “initiation-response-feedback” or “IRF” pattern which does not lead to a class discussion that encourages all students to think and participate. Another pattern that does not encourage participation is “funneling,” where a teacher continues to push students to get them to a particular answer. However, the “focusing” pattern, which uses probing questions to negotiate a classroom discussion, is a questioning pattern that does help students better understand what is being taught. The math moves discussed above help to create a “focusing”

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