Students have a lot to say, but starting a meaningful conversation around a concept in math can be difficult.
Help your students feel immediate success and continue to grow throughout the year with these helpful tips from the My Math Talk Bookmarks Pack.
#1 Post sentence stems around the room for easy access all year long
How to start accountable talk shouldn't be a secret. Active visuals in your room will help students eventually internalize these behaviors, actions, and words. I emphasize the word "active" because you as the teacher should be modeling and pointing out these posters to students so that expectations are clear and so that these posters do not fade into the background. You should have "walls that talk" to students all year long. I post mine (as they are introduced to students) along my math wall and make sure that the numbers of each one is visible so that I have multiple ways to reference them.
#2 Practice makes permanent
Spend time practicing how to use these sentence stems when responding to others in the subject of math. Start with one group of sentence stems (I suggest the questioning group) and master those before expecting the correct use of sentence stems from other groups. I have my groups color-coded so they are easier to reference and talk about as a class.
In the My Math Talk Bookmarks pack I have included over 20 sentence stem practice pages of varying levels to help all students become more familiar with responding to math problems.
The above picture shows one of the sentence practice pages included with the pack
#3 Give students the power
Once students are more familiar with the sentence starters, leave the posters hanging, but also pass out and start referencing a bookmark version of all the sentence starters. This will encourage students to start using a variety of stems based on need (in more subjects than just math too!), and will help them feel empowered. Compliment students on their use of these sentence stems and they will naturally want to incorporate them more into their verbal and written speech. Feedback (timely and specific!) is crucial here.
Below is a picture of the color-coded Sentence Stem Bookmarks.
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