Ask a group of elementary school students to name a language, and chances are they will not reply “mathematics.” Yet from the time young children begin going to school, they are expected to discuss their mathematical thinking using the vocabulary, structures, and ideas of mathematics. In this module, participants will learn why communicating about mathematics is important for young students, as well as why it can be so difficult for them. They will consider how math and literacy instruction intersect in the elementary classroom, and explore ways of pushing students to explain their thinking beyond “I just know the answer.” Participants will learn questioning strategies that can help students communicate, justify, and defend their mathematical ideas, and watch videos of real classroom teachers using these strategies. By the end of this module, participants will have created a lesson plan that integrates communication-based activities into their elementary math instruction.

- Teacher: Meg Morse-Barry