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Title: STOP! Don't Be A Talking Head!


Description: Suffering from Talking Head Syndrome? Get ready to take a recovery journey that removes the weight of student learning off of your shoulders and places the ownership of learning back on your students. Attend this session and write your prescription filled with best instructional practices to engage your learners in collaborative academic discourse.


Learning Outcome: Participants will be able to engage students in taking ownership of their learning with peers through daily collaborative academic conversations.

During the session participants will interact as a student in a demonstration of how to engage all students in mathematical discourse based on the work of John Strebe’s Engaging Mathematics Students Using Cooperative Learning. Learners will cooperate within competitive teams in three modes of learning: respect, defense, and consensus (20 min). After participants interact with one another as students involved in math discourse, they will be given the instructional foundation to implement academic conversations in their learning environment: developing groups, grouping roles and math academic conversation stems (35 min). Participants will leave with a student perspective of how structured mathematical discourse evens the playing field for all learners and engages them in deeper levels of problem solving and critical thinking.


Respect Mode allows every participant to engage in mathematical thinking independently. In Defense Mode, participants will defend their answers while critiquing the reasoning of a partner. Participants will then be led to Consensus Mode where they will interact with their competitive team to to collaborate to come to an agreement on the questions given


Focus on Math: NCTM Process Standards

-Problem Solving

Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving

Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems

Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving.


Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication

Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others

Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others


Equity and Access: Math is the universal language yet in math classes students engaged in discourse seems to be mute. Communication allows all students to be involved in math and evens the playing field for learners. No matter what strategy is shared, right or wrong, academic conversations in math class gives access to  everyone to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Through academic conversations experiences, personalities, interests, and content knowledge is valued at every level.

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