HIDE THE QUESTION

CROSSOVER WORDS

that communicates
ideas and reasoning, even when that language is imperfect.

ROUTINES FOR COMPREHENSION

SENTENCES WORTHY OF FRAMING

PRINCIPLE: ELLs develop language through explanation.
English learners may hesitate to speak in class precisely because their control of English is limited. But practice speaking allows them to become more proficient. Bridging the language barrier is important for ELLs to thrive in the types of classrooms the CCSS-M promotes.

TURN AND TALK

MOVES TO SUPPORT THIS STUDENT VITAL ACTION

EXPRESS RELATIONSHIPS

English learners produce language

MANY MODES

Student Vital Actions

SHOW WHERE YOU SEE THAT

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Why does this matter?

English learners produce language.

Most frequently used:
during the initial phases of a lesson.
within small groups.

EXPRESS RELATIONSHIPS
The problem:
When students are not fluent, they often use as few words as possible in an answer. Students need practice expressing relationships in words and may need time and support to do so.
The move:
Take two words students can produce and help students to connect them. For example, “What are you buying?” “Shirts.” “How much are they?” “Ten dollars.” “What can you tell me about the shirts and dollars?” You want them to express the relationship of “ten dollars per shirt” to connect the ideas.Teacher Tip:
Often teachers minimize the demands on English learners in order not to make them feel bad. While the intention is good, the consequence is that the student has less opportunity to learn.

Previous

CROSSOVER WORDS
The problem:
It is challenging to understand the many different uses of words like factor, negative, model, function, and others that have a math meaning and a broader general use too.
The move:
For important words, especially everyday words that have precise mathematical meaning, provide multiple contexts where the word is useful and have students explain what it refers to in that context. Ask them to use the word to make connections between the different representations.
Teacher Tip:
It is much easier to understand the particular use of a word in a specific context than the general meaning. Give students the chance to construct the general meaning from multiple particular instances. Using the words to communicate in meaningful contexts helps build understanding.

Most frequently used:
during the initial phases of a lesson.
during the "last third" of a lesson.
when the whole class is discussing the mathematics.

TURN AND TALK
The problem:
Students may be reluctant to share their ideas, especially when they are learning a new language and uncertain about what to say.
The move:
Teachers use "turn and talk" during whole class discussions and (sometimes) provide a learning goal (a prompt and clear expectation for what should be produced by students). Teachers can intervene during "turn and talk" to quietly tell reluctant talkers it is their turn to talk and that they are to think out loud.
Teacher Tip:
Giving students permission to talk without requiring polished answers can make it easier to share ideas. The goal is for students to share thinking.

Most frequently used:
during the initial phases of a lesson.
when the whole class is discussing the mathematics.

Most frequently used:

HIDE THE QUESTION
The problem:
Sometimes students rush to do calculations and do not consider the relationships expressed by the word problem context. English learners in particular need support to fully comprehend the language that describes the context.
The move:
Show students a word problem without a question and ask them to generate questions for that context.
Teacher Tip:
This move requires students to pause before rushing to do calculations and gets them to consider the relationships expressed by the problem context. Students will also likely devise questions that explore the different ways to consider the relationships in the problem. Considering the diverse questions will help all students understand these types of problems more deeply but will be of particular benefit to ELLs.

SHOW WHERE YOU SEE THAT The problem:
Students don’t utilize the multiple representations available (including representations in language) to help them understand the mathematics.
The move:
Encourage students to use language to construct meaning from representations with prompts such as: “Explain where you see…(e.g., slope, ten, oranges) in her…(e.g., graph, equation, table). How do you know it represents the same thing?”Teacher Tip:
Asking students to identify the correspondences between multiple representations of the same mathematical concepts supports their understanding of the relationships between the representations and the meaning of the underlying concepts.

Most frequently used:
during the "last third" of a lesson.
within small groups.
when the whole class is discussing the mathematics.

SENTENCES WORTHY OF FRAMING
The problem:
Sometimes sentence frames support simple ideas instead of complex ones.
The move:
Teachers offer sentence frames that push for connections between ideas at different language competency levels.
If students are using the frame: “first I did…, second…, then…, and then…,” provide them more advanced frames such as: “if I do …then I will get…” and “in order to get…I did…”
Also, use sentence frames that focus on core content, such as: “I know diagrams are useful in solving problems because…” “This will always/sometimes/never work because…” “In a proportional relationship, for each…there will always be a change in…”
Teacher Tip:
Using sentence frames can help all students explain their thinking cogently, not just English learners.

Most frequently used:
during the initial phases of a lesson.
during the "last third" of a lesson.
within small groups.
when the whole class is discussing the mathematics.

MANY MODES
The problem:
Sometimes particular language modes are overutilized during math instruction.
The move:
Every student speaks, listens, reads, and writes.
Teacher Tip:
Language develops most readily when all four modes are engaged. Academic success requires proficiency in all four modes. Students can engage in each mode at their level and will improve when the modes are connected to a meaningful process.

This move best suited for use:

Most frequently used:
during the initial phases of a lesson.
within small groups.
when the whole class is discussing the mathematics.

ROUTINES FOR COMPREHENSION
The problem:
Sometimes students are not encouraged to take the time to fully comprehend more difficult texts.
The move:
Use routines that slow students down and get them to focus on comprehension. For example, have students read a world problem three times: 1) to comprehend the text 2) to comprehend the mathematics and 3) identify the question(s) that requires an answer.Teacher Tip:
This move creates a space for the important task of comprehension. It provides a structure that can slow the rush to computation. The structure breaks down the various elements of understanding and shows that it takes reading and re-reading to fully comprehend difficult texts.

Why are some moves considered advanced?
In general, the teacher moves in the 5 x 8 resource do not have prerequisites. Any teacher should be able to try them and be successful. However, moves marked “advanced” may require more groundwork or particular persistence on the part of teachers in order to be successful.

Why are some moves better for the initial phases of a lesson?
The goal of classroom activities is to have students understand a concept and master the related skills. The challenge for teachers is to help the students move from their initial way of thinking about the problem(s) in the lesson toward the grade level target. In the first phase of a lesson, teachers elicit students' divergent ways of thinking about a topic by allowing students to work in pairs and small groups. Students begin with their own way of understanding, and, by working together, the class creates examples of different ways of thinking about the mathematics. The students’ different ways of thinking are the " stepping stones" that take them from their starting point to grade-level ways of thinking.
Representations of these ways of thinking (students’ work and their talk about it) are the “stepping stones” that teachers use to help students get to the target. During this first phase of the lesson, it is helpful,teachers circulate among the groups to: 1) ensure that they are struggling productively with the mathematics and intervene to re-engage struggle when needed, 2) select student work that is representative of diverse ways of thinking and will help students step up to the target ways of thinking, and 3) determine the order in which student work will be presented. The easiest way of making sense of the problem should be presented first (usually concrete thinking), and the closest-to-grade-level way of thinking should be presented last.

Why are some moves better to use toward the conclusion (or final third) or a lesson? The goal of a lesson is to have all students reach a shared understanding of the target mathematics. In the first phase of the lesson, students may create various representations of different ways of thinking. In the second phase, teachers can organize presentations of these ways of thinking and a summary of the mathematics that help students "step up to the target." Presentations begin with the easiest-to-understand way of thinking and conclude with the way of thinking that represents the lesson target. Following student presentations, the teacher can give a summary of the mathematics that involves quoting from student presentations, highlighting correspondences between the various representations shared, and opportunities for students to ask questions. By helping students connect their way of thinking with increasingly more complex ways of thinking, students are able to "step up to the target mathematics".

Why are some moves recommended for Small Groups of Students?
While some moves can be effective across multiple class structures (pairs, small groups, whole class, et cetera), other moves are particularly effective with small groups, or are only relevant to small groups. By noting the class structure, the 5 x 8 resource supports users who want to think about how to promote vital actions within particular class structures.

Why are some moves recommended for the Whole Class?
While some moves can be effective across multiple class structures (pairs, small groups, whole class, et cetera), other moves are particularly effective with the whole class, or are only relevant to whole-class structures. By noting the class structure, the 5 x 8 resource supports users who want to think about how to promote vital actions within particular class structures.

Students say a second sentence.

All students participate.

Students use academic language.

Back

Students revise their thinking.

BETA VERSIONPlease email us comments and corrections at mellinger@serpinstitute.org
Thank you!

Tap on any of the Student Vital Actions to explore teaching moves!

What is a Teaching Move?

What is a Student Vital Action?

ELLs produce language.

Students engage and persevere.

Students talk about each other’s thinking.

First Steps:Creating a Classroom Culture

Students say a second sentence.

ELLs produce language.

Students talk about each other’s thinking.

Students engage and persevere.

Student action is influenced by the classroom culture and leadership of the teacher. A teacher plans, assigns, prompts, spots trouble and responds, sees opportunities and seizes them, sees disengagement and re-engages. When a teacher acts to make a teaching episode productive, we refer to the teacher action as "a move.” Every teacher has a repertoire of moves that serve different purposes in different situations.
The 5x8 “deck" lists a selection of teacher moves that promote student vital actions. Teacher moves can make lessons flow toward the mathematics of the unit, and they keep students with a variety of dispositions and prior knowledge engaged in the discussion. Teacher moves also advance the discussion from initial ways of thinking toward grade-level ways of thinking.
Which move should a teacher use? It depends on the purpose and the circumstance. Often, more than one move is worth trying. If one doesn’t work, try another. Good teaching entails paying attention to students’ ways of thinking and responding to it. When observing, work from student actions (good and bad) back to the presence or the absence of teacher moves.

What is a Student Vital Action?

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