Saturday, August 8, 2015

Collaborative Teams and Productive "Math Talk"

I have blogged a lot about my collaborative teams and how effective they are in my classroom structure.  Last year my students worked productively in their teams and had really good discussions, but there was still room for improvement.  I have done a lot of reflecting over the summer and my goal for this year is to take my students' team discussions to the next level.

After a lot of Pinteresting and blog reading over the summer, I came across Talking Points on cheesemonkey wonders blog.  I am so excited.... I love this idea but I know that my students need more structure. So I have taken this idea and tweaked it so that it would be more structured and therefore more effective with my students.

The first thing I did was make a Let's Talk Math Guidelines page for their Interactive Math Notebook.  I will use this to introduce my students to "Math Talk" in their collaborative teams.

The idea of my new "Math Talk" idea is a spin on Talking Points.  Each team member will have a set of "Math Talk" cards.  Each set of "Math Talk" cards will have three cards. The three cards will consist of AGREE, DISAGREE, and UNSURE.  I am going to laminate these on bright cardstock paper.  Each set will be hole punched with a binder ring.

When prompted by the Team Mathematician, each team member will determine if they AGREE, DISAGREE, or are UNSURE.  Each team member will choose a card from their "Math Talk" cards.  When it is their turn to say whether they AGREE, DISAGREE, or are UNSURE, they will hold up their card to the team and explain their thinking.
Saying: "I _______ because __________________________".

I love this idea because I know the students will like using the "Math Talk" cards.  It will also help me see if they are having a productive "Math Talk" because I will be able to see the teams using their "Math Talk" cards. :o)

This is how I am going to start this year with my students and help them take their math discussions to the next level. 

I am including the downloads for the files that I created.  
Feel free to use, tweak, or modify my ideas. Or simply be inspired....

Download Links: 
Thanks for stopping by an checking out my blog...


  1. Hi, love your posts!!!! Just curious, when you made the "Asking Questions" the title made from ordinary bulletin board letters? If so, what kind? what size?

    1. Yes, they are regular bulletin board letters. Teacher Creative Resources 5" Bling Letters With Jewels. My "Change Your Words" board has 7" letters.