Student Interactions in Math Class

Stealing vs/ Collaborating

The evolution of our math programming...

Historically, students learn early on that the first student to answer 'wins', almost as though it is a race or competition. Research is now showing that our math programs were based solely on computation with little to know interaction or explanation. Research goes on to say that students' must engage in interactions in the math classroom where they learn to collaborate, problem-solve, building off what their peers say and explain their thinking. Unlike a math program that existed 20 years ago, math comes alive off the paper and pencil worksheets, to a social and engaging endeavour.

What can we do to foster student interaction?

So why 'fix' what's not broken? What are the benefits to a student interactive math program?

  • Students' learn how to explain their thinking vs/ only knowing the answer.
  • Students' learn how to work collaboratively with their peers.
  • Students' take responsibility for their learning, build on their meaning of big ideas

What is your role as a teacher in a student interactive math program?

- Model asking questions to clarify thinking.

- Model 'wait time'- honour student thinking by waiting instead of honouring the 'first hand' up, ready to answer.

- Use rich Math texts to help students gain understanding of big ideas and concepts.

- Encourage and promote 'talk moves' for students.