There was noise. drama. loud voices.
Something big was going down in the office. It wasn’t a child with a broken arm. It wasn’t a student who had been removed from class. It wasn’t a disgruntle parent with an issue to resolve. It was a math talk.
2 teachers + 1 assistant principal talking about a math talk.
We’d been learning and talking about math talks during a recent staff meeting. A couple of my teachers were a little apprehensive about how to conduct a math talk. I had never conducted a math talk myself, so I did my usual letsjumprightinandlearntogetherthing. And we did.
I put an impressive math problem on the board. Something like 39 + 17= _____. They were spellbound (not). Then I asked everyone to think and share how to solve the problem. After three teachers shared three different methods, the magic began to happen. Teachers were amazed. Minds were opened. And we all learned from each other.
Our third grade teacher declared she was going to try this exact problem with her class the next day. She invited our resource professional to team teach.
The results were fascinating.
Her students came up with innovative ways to solve the problem. Students turned and shared their ideas with other students. Little learning cells quickly popped up in the room and students naturally shared their ideas and thinking.
Our resource professional had to make a phone call to California (?) to ask another math teacher WHY a certain method worked. She burst into the office to share what she had learned, babbling about algebra and distributive and commutative properties. A math explosion. Our math conversation was overheard by a high school math teacher and the conversation spread to the other building.
All from one little math talk.
Math Talks: when lines blur and students become teachers and teachers become students and we all learn from each other.
Math talks. That’s what GCS is talking about.
Do you do math talks with your kids? I’d love to hear your top three things you must do to have a great math talk! Leave me a comment below. I’d love to chat with you!
by Mary Kay Kane
all rights reserved. copyright 2017