What Do You See? Math Talks
Students observe, discuss, and describe what they seelearn more
Imagine math lessons that specifically avoid direct instruction, but instead invite children to simply share what they see.
All learners enjoy standing in “teacher position” and sharing what they see with the class.
With time, turn-taking, careful listening, and gentle teacher prompting, children can construct their own meaning of mathematical models.
What do you See? Math Talks is an arts integration program that trains K-2 teachers to observe and describe pictures as a way of developing mathematical language. In this teaching strategy, students are not sitting and listening. They are active participants in their own learning! And the children’s meaningful conversations guide each step of the teacher’s math instruction.
What do you See? Math Talks invite students to look at pictures, drawings, or models and freely discuss what they see. “Student Teachers” take turns describing what they see while the “Audience” carefully listens to identify math words. After the Audience identifies a math word, the teacher writes it in a Language of Math box. The teacher may refer to the students’ words or sometimes add a new word to the Language of Math box. Through repeated practice using these math terms, students slowly refine their observations and zero in on the mathematics of the situation.
Grade Level: K - 2
Workshop Time: 3 hours
LCD projector and Screen
Chairs arranged in a semicircle facing the screen