Exploring the effects of implementing focus math talk practices in a fourth grade classroom





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The research question addressed was, how might implementing two student focused math discourse strategies (mini-lessons and student journals) and how does monitoring my own range of questioning and prompting techniques increase productive math discourse behaviors among my students as exhibited by the quality of the students' mathematical thinking? Influences in this study were the writer's passion in helping students develop deep mathematical understanding through talk, and authors such as Chapin, Parrish, and Fravillig. Discourse strategies were implemented, and data was collected through video observations and student and teacher reflection journals. Major findings were: 1) The classroom environment impacts students' ability to participate in productive math discourse. 2) Teacher questioning techniques facilitate effective math discourse, which builds mathematical understanding. 3) Significant time is required for students to develop language skills necessary to participate in math discourse and develop their ability to transfer what is learned from discourse to other math tasks.

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