Mathematical Discourse

Talking and writing are essential to understanding math.

Writing and talking are tools for discovery, enabling learners to make new connections as they engage in the process. The fluid nature of talk allows for the quick brainstorming of many ideas, while the permanent quality of writing provides an important trail of our children's thinking.

Classroom activities in which students give oral explanations of their mathematical thinking can help engage and support all students--including English Learners and those with special needs.

Watch and listen to the explanation of Student 3 (not his real name). You can even watch and listen to Students 1 and 2 again, if you so desire. What are you looking for? Examples of where students seem to discover an idea, clarify their understanding, or make sense of the mathematics while they were giving their explanation.


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