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5 Math Talk Routines that Work

Let’s talk about math talk routines! For the past couple of weeks, I’ve talked about ways to get started with math talk in the classroom. (Missed the posts? Read them here and here! There’s even a great example of strategy sharing on the Teaching Channel– watch it here! This week, I’m sharing five quick routines that can jump start math talk in the classroom.

This is the blog title- 5 Math Talk Routines that Work.

Over the years, I’ve heard some teachers say they feel like they have to have a grand plan for using math talk in the classroom. While it is important to understand your purpose and what you hope to accomplish with your math talk session, there are some simple routines you can put into place that will provide you with a structure. All you have to do is supply the content. Read on to get started.

Math Talk Routines

1. Who’s Correct?

Who’s Correct is a strategy that requires students to analyze and make sense of the thinking of others.  What I love about it is that students do not just solve the problem, they must select a correct, or incorrect, response and provide a justification for the thinking of another. Read a post about using Who’s Correct here!

2. Fact or Fib

Fact or Fib is a strategy that has been used in a variety of ways for several years. It’s a spin-off of the oh-so-familiar true or false task but adds a new context. You can encourage students to be fact checkers as the learning comes from the justification piece. It is not enough for students to respond with fact or fib, they must know why and be able to communicate their thinking in pictures, words, or numbers. Read a post about Fact or Fib here!

3. Sometimes, Always, or Never

Sometimes, Always, or Never is a strategy that I first learned about a few years back. I fell in love with this strategy from the first day that I learned about it and I have been using it and adapting it ever since. What I love most about this strategy is the way it makes students think. In order to be able to determine the correct response, students must consider all of their options. They must decide if the statement is sometimes true, always true, or never true. In order to do this, students must be able to select instances of and then try to create a generalization for the concept.

4. Estimation 180

Estimation 180 is a website which includes a plethora of images from the real world where students have to estimate some quantity in regards to what is represented in the picture. There is a challenge for each day of the school year. Be sure to download the Estimation 180 handout to help your students organize their thinking. Check out the website here!

5. Which One Doesn’t Belong

The basic idea of the Which One Doesn’t Belong website is simple but so brilliant. A picture with multiple components is presented. Students then discuss which picture or element of the picture does not belong. Here’s the beauty of it: There is no right or wrong answer. As long as students can justify their response, then their answer is correct. Check out the website here!

Sound Off! Have you tried any of these strategies? If so, share your experience in the comments section below.

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Shametria Routt Banks

Shametria Routt Banks

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