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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler How to help students interact?

  • How to help students interact?

    Posted by Joyce Pratt on January 22, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Some of my students are not confident in their math ability or English ability or are just shy.  I want to help them speak up not only with me but with classmates.

    Jenna Day replied 2 years, 10 months ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Mary Manske

    January 26, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    This has been my big goal this year. My students sound similar to yours, and I have a cotaught class, so some have IEPs. Here are things I feel have helped:

    -I never correct anything and any observation goes (even really stupid ones, see below)

    -I do Which One Doesn’t Belong and Notice & Wonder. Both of these almost always get kids who traditionally do not speak up talking. They will raise their hands for these because they can’t be wrong and feel much less afraid. Oh, and we estimate every day (Estimation 180, Esti-Mysteries, Estimation Clipboard).

    -Stand & Talks are great for this. Sara Van Der Werf has a lot of info but I’ll give you a quick summary. I prepare a thing to have them look at (sometimes to make connections, sometimes to introduce something) and they get with a partner, look at it silently and are each supposed to notice at least 10 things (high number so they aren’t like, “well I found one thing to say, I’m out”). Then they have a minute or so to talk then back to their seats and we debrief. Sometimes I give a copy for their notebooks, sometimes not. We record everything they notice, then try to get into wonders. Often, they answer each others questions or tell me what the connection between 2 things is. 

    -One thing I want to do is stop doing as many openers that are math problems. If I’m having my student do a math problem (current or review), I’m probably leaving out that same set of students. If my class opens with something that is 100% accessible for everyone, then I’m not starting class with kids already checked out because they can’t do it. This is where Which One Doesn’t Belong is great. Something that is reviewing a technical skill (like can you find the mean on the calculator using a list) is ok too–thats a memory thing so they can help each other and I have some people just repeat directions. 

  • Joyce Pratt

    January 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you.  Definitely helpful!

  • Jenna Day

    January 31, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    I have actually found the opposite to be true in my class. I find the the higher end students have trouble with math talks because they are so used to being right and have a hard time explaining their thinking or get frustrated when asked to do so. I agree with Mary’s suggestions and have used them as well. They help to create a stress free environment because there is not one right answer, or one way to get to the answer. It empowers kids that they can be correct even if they answer differently than their peers.