Mathematical process standards and best practices tell us that students need to be communicating about math, defending and justifying their answers and explaining their thinking. Whether we call them Math Talks, Number talks, or Problems of the Day a whole group time to think about math, talk about math, and learn from mistakes is a critical part of the math day. At the beginning of the year, establish procedures for math talks by telling kids you our group is looking for all answers and thoughts as we learn from mistakes just as well as we learn from accuracy (sometimes we even learn more from mistakes!) Model and discuss appropriate comments and responses for open mathematical discussions. Also provide sentence stems to help you students phrase their comments for mathematical debate. There are lots of great resources for these on TpT. Then, at the beginning of class 2-3 times per week post a Think and Thumbs Up problem for your class. You can project it on a smart board or under a document camera. Without comment from other classmates, collect student answers and record them in the “answers” box. Let students think again about which answers make the most sense to them. Then open the floor for debate and sharing of mathematical thinking. As students come to consensus on patterns or rules that could be used, them in the “patterns and notices” box. Let the students lead the discussion where it needs to go for them. Try to avoid guiding them to see math the way you see it and let them discover the truths of math through their own struggle, discussions, and light-bulb moments.
This set includes resources for a full year with topics including multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, patterns, algebraic thinking, fractions, geometry, measurement, time, money, and place value. The problems are grouped by topic and come with an answer key including some ideas for where the conversations might go.
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