Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Talk Moves and Productive Talk

Math Blog #4

Before your observation:

1. Pick 2 of the 5 talk moves that Chapin introduces in Chapter 5 to observe and practice in your placement. Write a brief paragraph about what moves you have picked and why you have chosen to work on them. (1 paragraph)

--Wait time

Both of these talk moves are used in my placement classroom and I see that they are effective, but not in all circumstances. The role talk moves play in the classroom is a vital one in which students are really given the opportunity to either agree or disagree with another person's thought process and answer. Wait time is what I call "think time." It is truly a valuable time in which students gather their thought process and put it into words. If students are not given this opportunity, many will feel too embarrassed to put forth a contribution in the classroom. I believe that revoicing allows the teacher the opportunity to truly comprehend what the student is thinking and how they got their answer. This clears up any confusion between the teacher and the student, but also with the class.

If you are teaching or leading a small group :

2. Describe how you plan to implement the talk moves. Then describe how it went. Provide an example or two. Did anything happen that was unexpected? What would you do differently next time? (2 paragraphs)

During my small group lesson, I plan on presenting a word problem and asking the students to solve it. Upon the students answers, I will ask each student what they got as their answer, then I will revoice their answer--so as to check for my own understanding of the student's thought process. I will offer each student time to think about their answer and how they arrived there. Because this is something that they are comfortable with doing, it should be no problem for them to handle in the small group atmosphere.

When I presented the two word problems, my students were quick to ask questions. I was curious as to why there were doing that, simply because I knew that during our daily math warm-up, Mrs. Sanders gives the students a word problem similar to the ones I gave them.

"Jeremy has 6 cookies. He wants to share his cookies with his two friends, but he also wants to keep some for himself. How many cookies does each person get?" partitive division

"Jackie and Rachel love shopping. After going to the mall, they spent $5.50. They had $7.25 left. How much money did they start out with?" separate start unknown

I printed each of these questions out for my students and had them staple it in their notebooks. I instructed the students to highlight or circle the numbers they find in the problem, then they were to underline the question. This allowed them to solely look at the "important" information in the problem. I gave each student roughly five minutes to solve the problem and instructed them to represent the problem in two different formats. Mrs. Sanders asks the students to do this with their warm-up problem as well. After asking one student to show me her answer, she looked rather confused at her explanation on her paper; however, I tried revoicing what she told me. She simply looked at me, looked back at her paper, and then finally said, "I mean, I meant that you don't know how much they brought with them to the mall. That's what I need to figure out." By my revoicing of her "answer," she realized that she didn't set up the problem correctly and therefore couldn't answer the question correctly. After that, I read both questions again and offered the students several minutes to complete the problems. I asked another student how he would solve the first one. I gave him some wait time to gather his thoughts. After almost 10 seconds, he explained to the group that he had to draw out three friends and divided the six cookies between them. I was so excited when this occurred because he usually doesn't want to answer during our math time--I believe that the wait time and the smaller group facilitated his talking to the group.

If I were to do this differently, I would give the students different options for numbers to plug in. Rather than 2 friends, the students can choose from 3 or 4--depending on their level of comfort with manipulating numbers. I would also have given the students fake money--Mrs. Sanders didn't have any with her and I didn't think to bring in any. By bringing more manipulatives, it would have been easier for the students to see monetary value and the like.

I was thrilled that each student had the time to correctly answer each question and felt comfortable enough to express their own opinions regarding both word problems.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! I like the problem types you chose, and I like how revoicing helped the one student to more fully understand the problem. I also like how you mentioned that you think of "wait time" as "think time". From a teacher perspective, you're waiting, but from the student's perspective he or she is thinking. Nice.

    One thing to think about. I would hesitate to have students circle the numbers in the problem, and maybe even to underline the question. Maybe not now, but at some point problems will include numbers that are not necessary or that are important but not needed in the actual operations. Also, while the question in the problem directs what the student should find, sometimes there are hidden questions or things that need to be found first before solving the problem. Because of this, I would encourage your students to understand the problem as a whole and spend some time talking about it before they start to solve it, but not having them focus on key words or numbers. What do you think about this?