Last week, I observed a small group math lesson. The teacher was leading fourth grade students through a math mystery in which they were given clues and had to identify a number.
The students guessed the number before starting and had to revise their guesses as the clues helped them eliminate certain numbers.
What impressed me most was the talk happening with students and the teacher. Students were justifying their guesses. They were explaining why a guess no longer made sense after a new clue was revealed.
They supported each other in revising guesses and talked through place value and number sense.
The observation lasted approximately thirty minutes, and the teacher led students through “only” one problem. But the math talk, discussion, reasoning, and critical thinking was extraordinary.
Make sure kids are talking in math.