Series: Content Conversations: Strategies for ELLs
Math.Practice.MP1
 Common core State Standards
 Math: Math
 Practice: Mathematical Practice Standards

MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, \"Does this make sense?\" They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.
Math.Practice.MP3
 Common core State Standards
 Math: Math
 Practice: Mathematical Practice Standards

MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures. They are able to analyze situations by breaking them into cases, and can recognize and use counterexamples. They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. They reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context from which the data arose. Mathematically proficient students are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, andif there is a flaw in an argumentexplain what it is. Elementary students can construct arguments using concrete referents such as objects, drawings, diagrams, and actions. Such arguments can make sense and be correct, even though they are not generalized or made formal until later grades. Later, students learn to determine domains to which an argument applies. Students at all grades can listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.
Math.2.NBT.B.5
Common core State Standards
 Math: Math
 2: Grade 2
 NBT: Number & Operations in Base Ten
 B: Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract

5:
Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
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Thought starters
 What tools does Ms. LaCour use to support her ELL students?
 What are the benefits of having students lead the number talk?
 How do number talks encourage students to try new math strategies?
In Partnership With:
School Details
Acorn Woodland Elementary School1025 81st Avenue
Oakland CA 94621
Population: 296
Data Provided By:
Teachers
Monique LaCour
Newest
TCH Special
Grades 612, All Subjects, Civic Engagement
Teaching Practice
All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration
TCHERS' VOICE
Professional Learning
Chikae Yamatin Jun 21, 2019 4:29pm
I was really inspired by the sentence stems to facilitate discussion as well as for the different positions (facilitator, teacher, etc.) in the group. As a high school teacher, I am often reminded of all of the good scaffolding that help facilitate productive discussion when observing ES classes!
Next year, I am going to be coteaching an Algebra 1 class (with Angie!). One of the things we have been discussing is what kinds of ways we can split the classes for discussion/exploration. I also liked how this class split into different groups and each group was working on the problem both individually and as a group, but all productively. This is also something that I want to try next year.
But thing that I liked the most was Ms. LaCour's final closing with the students. "I will try new ideas... because math is fun!"
Alexander Skolnick Jun 20, 2019 2:09pm
Lessons like the one in this video are importnat for showing students how to have discussions and try new strategies in math classes. Monique created a learning space for her students where they felt comfortable sharing their ideas and strategies with their peers and with the class as a whole. She was receptive to students who were struggling, but did not immediately provide them with an answer, she had them work through the problem. This kind of learning environment promotes students trying new ideas and then being able to explain whether or not their ideas worked. For ELLs this is very important as it gives the a space where they can feel comforable practicing both their English and their math skills.
The reflection the teacher had students do on their strategies was a good thing to see as many students see math as an either it worked or it didn't kind of thing. Getting them to explore why something worked or didn't is important for having students get a deeper understanding of how they learn and use math.
angie sostak Jun 19, 2019 12:10am
I enjoyed watching how well your students discussed their mathematics. I particularly liked how you used sentence prompts to teach students how to engage in the mathematics appropriately. Academic language is difficult for students to learn and this is something that really can help students know how to use it correctly to engage in discussion about their thinking. Thank you for sharing.
Veronica Bass Jun 18, 2019 2:40am
This strategy reminds me of the AVID (Advancement Via Independent Determination) tutoring sessions. In the AVID tutoring sessions, a student presents a problem from a homework that he/she has, and then the rest of the group tries to help that student find the solution by asking him/her guiding questions, but not giving him/her the solution. The idea is that the student finds his/her own "aha" moment. Here, all the students are trying to solve the same problem, and they do not necessarily ask questions: they actually share their strategies and try to find the solution together.
I was wondering, though, do the students have to provide feedback, reflections and suggestions every time after they complete a math talk? It seems to me that, after having completed a few math talks, the students might see themselves repeating the same comments and suggestions. In other words, I would think that step is only necessary when students are learning the process; but, once they are comfortable with the process, that step could be ommitted or, perhaps, have the students write an evaluation of the group's performance, but not share it with the class. Any ideas on that?
Overall, I liked the strategy, and I already saved it to my workspace. Thank you.
Winston Martey Jun 17, 2019 12:15am
“Engaging in Productive Struggle: Number Talks” is very appropriate as Monique gave learners the opportunity engage in academic conversations while exploring important mathematics. Struggling through problem solving is a great impetus for acquiring new knowledge; and I totally agree with Monique for resisting the temptation to give away answers in her interactions with the groups. The engaging hook at the beginning of the lesson was excellent and what a great place to inculcate the discipline of respecting others views; whether they agree or disagree. Hoping the video was an abridged version – otherwise I expected to see more students sharing their strategies with the class.