Adding Talk to the Equation: A Self-Study Guide for Teachers and Coaches on Improving Math Discussions

Adding Talk to the Equation: A Self-Study Guide for Teachers and Coaches on Improving Math Discussions

by Lucy West


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Now in paperback with extensive online video!
For more than 20 years, Lucy West has been studying mathematical classroom discourse. She believes that teachers need to understand what their students are thinking as they grapple with rich mathematical tasks and that the best way to do so is through talking and listening.
In this video-rich edition of Adding Talk to the Equation: Discussions and Discovery in Mathematics, she invites teachers into real-life classrooms where all students stay in the game, stay motivated about learning, and ultimately deepen their understanding.
Designed for math teachers and coaches in grades 1–8, this self-study guide, now available as a paperback with extensive online classroom video, showcases elementary and middle school classrooms where teachers inspire even the most reluctant students to share their ideas. Through the stories of skilled teachers, Lucy offers play-by-play commentary as they get more comfortable with new talk moves and learn to tune in and respond to students’ math conversations. Although these discussions occur in math class, the strategies can be used to create a respectful, productive environment for any subject area.
This video-based resource examines the importance of creating a safe learning environment; the value of thinking, reasoning, and questioning; the role of active, accountable listening; and the necessity of giving all students a “you can do this” message. Lucy also emphasizes that slowing down, even in the face of time constraints, is crucial for creating a classroom where all students feel they have something to contribute.
This guide includes transcripts of the case studies, with insightful commentary from Lucy that gives you a window into her thinking and the complexities of the work she is doing with teachers, as well as her reflections on missed opportunities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625312617
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication date: 07/02/2018
Pages: 81
Sales rank: 1,222,895
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 6 - 13 Years

About the Author

Lucy West has worked in education for more than 30 years, starting as a second-grade teacher m New York City. After serving as assistant principal of PS 234, she was the director of mathematics for District 2, then deputy superintendent of Region 9. Her company, Metamorphosis: Teaching Learning Communities, Inc., is dedicated to partnering with districts to design and enact effective professional learning initiatives that result in increased student learning through improved instruction. Lucy is the coauthor of Agents of Change: How Content Coaching Transforms Teaching and Learning, and Content-Focused Coaching: Transforming Mathematic Lessons.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction 1

Grade 5 Introducing Basic Talk Moves 7

Introduction to Fifth Grade

Seating Arrangements and Listening Expectations

First Turn and Talk

Getting Students to Take a Stand and to Share Their Thinking

Using Turn and Talk to Ensure That Students Are Following

Each Others Thinking

Cultivating a Learning Community

Giving Feedback


Grade 1 Basic Talk Moves with Young Children 23

Introduction to First Grade

First Turn and Talk

The Importance of Slowing Down

Listening to Kids

Students Seeing Themselves as Learners


Grade 4 Getting Reluctant Learners to Speak 37

Introduction to Fourth Grade

You Know Something

Including All Students


Grade 3 Multiple Talk Moves in Action 47

Introduction to Third Grade

What to Do When Students Can't Repeat Back


Grade 6 Well on the Way to Academic Discourse 53

Introduction to Sixth Grade

Making Sense of the Problem

Digging into Big Ideas


Conclusion 63

Appendix A Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice, So Many Uses 65

Appendix B Talk Mooed for Clare room Discourse 73

Video Links 77

References 81

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