Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Using More 'Talk Moves' in my Maths lessons

How can using 'Talk Moves' improve my teaching of Maths?

Specific Teaching Focus Term 3: How can the use of  'Talk Moves' in my teaching of Maths help students deepen their understanding and accelerate their learning?

Why I chose this focus: I realised that although my students knew how to solve certain problems, they had difficulty explaining their methods to their teacher or peers. I also feel it is important that students are able to understand how they came to a solution as it informs their next steps and gives them confidence in being able to express their learning. I tend to use a lot of Talk Moves in other areas of my teaching but have been hesitant to use it for some reason when teaching Maths.

How we used it in class: When problem solving as a class we explored different methods that students had used to reach an answer and discussed each method in depth. During this I employed talk moves myself to introduce children to the language and encouraged the children to use it themselves. 
For example: How did you reach that answer? 
We would then discuss the benefits of the different methods used to achieve their results. I used talk moves such as: 
Did anyone else use a different method?
How does this compare to the previous method?
Which method did you find easier and why?
I also encouraged the use of ‘Talk Moves,’ in their groups and in paired/buddy work and rewarded them for using talk moves. As another approach I paired stronger students with my target students to to see if this would assist them in their learning.

My Reflection: I found that using Talk Moves did assist my students in gaining more confidence in Maths and was especially great for reaffirming their learning. The downside of using more Talk Moves was that we covered a lot less work overall as discussion takes time. One benefit was that they forgot a lot less of their previous learning and became more aware of how the different areas of Maths overlap. Talk Moves are a great teaching tool but take careful planning to keep the students on target. I found that it was important as a teacher to take notes throughout the lesson and to reaffirm what had been learnt each day by my students from any discussion. 
Overall I did not see any staggering improvements from using more Talk Moves in my Maths classes but I definitely think that students gained a deeper knowledge of what they learnt and that they grew in confidence when it came to sharing their thinking with me or the rest of the class. 

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