"Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction" (2005)
- Arrange desks so that students can easily turn to see each other.
- Encourage students to direct questions and explanations to the class, rather than the teacher.
- When recording ideas, use the students' words as much as possible.
- Try not to repeat or paraphrase everything students say. This teaches the other students that they can simply listen to you. Ask the student to repeat louder if need be.
- Remind students that a conversation has both listening and speaking skills.
- Stand in a variety of spots in the classroom.
- Remember, students listen harder when a peer speaks than when an adult does!
- Give students time to think.
- Arrange lessons so that students have a product to share as they explain their thinking.
Even better is if the student takes the lead in the class. This is done by
- Asking open questions to stimulate thinking. "Is this logical?" "What do you wonder about?"
- Honor ideas even if they are incorrect.
- Encourage arguments between students.
- Confusion is ok! Make sure students know that you want them to be confused, and that you will let them be this way.
- Tangents are great teachable moments.
- When a student brings up an idea ask the rest of the class if they have any questions or ideas.
- Counter questions with questions not explanations.
- Even with a correct answer, ask if there is any another way this can be done, or if there are improvements to be made.
A great reminder!