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Using Sentence Frames to increase discourse.

Sentence Frames can help increase productive discourse in your math community. Students are often not sure how to put into words what they are thinking about math. They have it in their head, but cannot verbalize it in front of their peers. Sentence frames provide scaffolding to students to help them form a statement or a question that relates to the problem at hand.

Below are the sentence frames that I post around my classroom for students to use when they are struggling with verbalizing what is in their heads. At the beginning of the school year we use them exclusively, so students become familiar with the structure.

Later in the year students might come up with their own ways to frame statements and questions, but for the most part students tend to still use the sentence frames on the wall to help them.

My colleague and I made the instructional video to help students understand how the sentence frames could help them have a conversation about math with their shoulder partner or group. At the time we filmed the video, my colleague was a math coach at my school for half of the day. Since she was not available for all of my classes, we made the video without students and then I was able to use it in all my classes. Our goal in the video was to act like typical students as we had the conversation. My students thought it was funny to see us act like students, but by acting as students, instead of acting as teachers, we were able to get our point across about how academic conversations sound between two students.

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