Student to Student Discourse: NWMC Workshop Part 2

Today I am back with the second half(ish) of my presentation at the Northwest math conference. To get a feel for the flow or to get caught up:  Part 1 of my presentation can be found here.

After the discussion on the importance of classroom culture, we jumped right into trying out a few of the activities/strategies. The first was Which One Doesn’t Belong. I have used this activity has a whole class period learning opportunity, but for this presentation I wanted to highlight it was a way to jump start math talk and group students with peers who might think about things a bit differently than they do.

Increasing Student to Student Discourse (3)

I put up the previous picture and asked the attendees to move to the corner of the room representing their first impression of which picture was the odd one out. Once there, they were to discuss in their corner the reason they choose to see if they were all the same and then each corner had a chance to share out a reason (or a few) that their picture didn’t belong. Then the attendees regrouped into table groups that had at least one member from each corner represented. Teacher Note: Most of the time I’d do this activity with a more math-y example, especially one using similar math to the activity at hand. This way, the grouping by unlike thinking is even more powerful for having different views represented.  I chose a non-math example for the presentation since I had no idea of the background of attendees coming in and I wanted to showcase the breadth of examples on the WODB site.  This grouping strategy can be done relatively quickly (in place of a warm up, perhaps) and gets kids brains and bodies moving and in math discourse mode right away.  You can find more examples of WODB on this site. Continue reading “Student to Student Discourse: NWMC Workshop Part 2”


Student to Student Discourse: NWMC Workshop Part 1

Back in October I gave my first ever presentation/workshop at a big conference. It was actually my first time attending a big conference as well. I’m not sure what I expected but 1500+ people is busy! My topic was on increasing discourse between students. It was a workshop format which I took to mean as interactive as possible. The room was packed, so movement was difficult, but all the attendees were super gracious about the space constraints and were awesome participants.  I’m going to give a run down on how it went and access to resources I mentioned. (This post will be the first few slides).

Opener: Increasing Student to Student Discourse

I went around and shook hands and introduced myself to as many people as possible as they were coming in and getting settled. I chatted about their conference so far and what they were hoping to get out of the workshop. I introduced people to someone at their table as they came in when possible. Throughout the workshop I bounced between “teacher” role and “explainer of teacher moves” often. I’ll try to capture that here in regular typeface and bolded side notes.  ((Teaching Note: I try to greet my students at the door or as they get settled every day. I also try to ask group-like questions to get them talking to each other if they aren’t naturally inclined to do so. Non-math talk is still a positive to build relationships with the teacher and among peers. Also, if they have a chance to chat before class starts, they are more inclined to get to math talk sooner once we get into it).  Continue reading “Student to Student Discourse: NWMC Workshop Part 1”