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TEACHER TRAININGWhat Do You See? Math Talks in the Primary Classroom

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.

About this Workshop

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

Workshop Setup

  • LCD projector and Screen

  • Speakers

  • Chairs arranged in a semicircle facing the screen

About Moving Through Math

What Do You See? Math Talks

Students observe, discuss, and describe what they see

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Teacher Training

Moving Through Math provides professional development workshops for STEAM educators eager to bring the benefits of arts integration into their classrooms.

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Math Talks Store

Browse our Math Talks instructional books for teachers

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