Our students have a lot to say, but starting a math conversation can often be difficult. Here are some practical tools teachers can use to get math talk started in their classrooms.
1. Math Talk Sentence Starters Bookmarks
Having consistent and easy access to sentence stems will help foster math conversations.
Challenge students to use particular numbers on certain days, depending on the lesson objective. I sometimes even give classroom points when I hear math talk and sentence starters being used by students throughout the day.
Paste these bookmarks in student notebooks for access all year long or enlarge and hang in the classroom! Check out the entire pack of posters and practice sheets here.
2. Math Talk Word Wall
At the beginning of each math workshop, my students use words and gestures for the current "math talk" words of each unit. Words are posted for easy viewing and to encourage their use throughout the workshop.
3. Math Talk Picture Dictionaries
I now also have an official "Math Talk" rotation for my math workshop where students are working on creating their very own picture dictionary.
I make master sheets that students can copy for themselves. Students are also welcome to take a challenge and put the definition and examples in their own words.
At the end of the year, each student will have a completed dictionary of words from all of our units. That will be over 40 words!