Testimonials

Math Talk™ Testimonials and Reviews

Find Out What Everyone is Talking About…

Read our testimonials to learn what educators across the country are saying about Math Talk. Find out how Math Talk has influenced instruction, engaged students, deepened student understanding, and more.

Classroom Discussions: Seeing Math Discourse in Action, Grades K–6, A Multimedia Professional Learning Resource

“In my view, the second edition of Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn (Chapin, O’Connor, and Anderson 2009) is the single best book available for learning about and implementing academically productive talk in the classroom. And now, with the companion facilitator’s guide, DVDs, and CD package—Classroom Discussions: Seeing Math Discourse in Action—there is nothing comparable. With its classroom video examples from kindergarten through grade 6, this combined resource gives a description of the practices and examples of them in action in urban classrooms—a window into using talk tools to promote learning. And while the facilitator’s guide, DVDs, and CD reproducibles focus on mathematics, the principles and practices discussed and illustrated therein are just as powerful in teaching English language arts, science, social studies, or history. The talk tools work extraordinarily well with English language learners and students who have struggled academically. If you need to select one resource for a study group of teachers interested in transforming their practice, this is the one to get.”

Sarah Michaels
Professor of Education and Senior Research Scholar
at the Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education
Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

“I have used Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn (Chapin, O’Connor, and Anderson 2009) for years in my work with teachers and have found it to be the most effective tool for learning to lead discussions in which students not only talk about but also learn math. Seeing what a productive mathematical discussion looks like, with all of the complexities that come with real children in a real school classroom, is the first step toward being able to lead one. Unpacking what is going on in such a discussion, understanding the routines in the teacher’s actions and how they are adapted to particular content and particular students is the next step, followed by trying it out and working through the results with a group of peers. The companion facilitator’s guide, enhanced with videos and reproducible lesson plans, provides an even richer support across the full spectrum of elementary mathematics.”

Magdalene Lampert
Professor of Teaching and Teacher Education University of Michigan
and Author of Teaching Problems and the Problems of Teaching

Classroom Discussions: Seeing Math Discourse in Action offers a well-developed, sequenced approach to orchestrating math discourse, from what it takes to establish a learning environment that supports students as sense makers to discourse as formative assessment of student understanding of mathematical concepts. The talk moves, video resources, and reproducibles make it easier to tailor the professional experience to the teachers’ learning whether they are preservice, early career, or experienced teachers. Boston Teacher Residency instructors and coaches have used the resources in the companion book, Classroom Discussions (Chapin, O’Connor, and Anderson 2009), to design assignments for residents, teacher study groups and as the content for the professional learning for the community of BTR coaches. As a result of focusing on student learning and understanding as it is constructed, we are getting better at assessing effective teaching.”

Lynne Godfrey
Induction director
Boston Teacher Residency

Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn, Grades K–6, Second Edition

“This book gives teachers concrete tools—‘talk moves’—that provide security and a framework to open up discussion in the math classroom. The talk moves will enhance daily conversations, professional development, and most of all the conversations heard in classrooms.”

Lori Murach, Math Program Supervisor
Department for School Improvement
North East Independent School District
San Antonio, Texas

“This book has had a direct, positive, and important influence on my math teaching. The ideas are clear and persuasive, and I gained new and important tools for engaging students and improving classroom math discussions. It’s a terrific resource!”

Marilyn Burns, Founder
Math Solutions

Good Questions for Math Teaching: Why Ask Them and What to Ask, Grades 5–8

Good Questions for Math Teaching: Why Ask Them and What to Ask, Grades 5–8, by Lainie Schuster and Nancy Canavan Anderson, is the companion book to the book of the same title for grades [K–6] by Peter Sullivan and Pat Lilburn. Good questions are open-ended and reveal both what students know and what misconceptions they might have. There are three sections in this book. Section one examines types of questions; section two explains how to use the book; three looks at questions to use in the classroom. In this book the questions are arranged into seven strands including topics such as number relationships; multiplication and proportional reasoning; and fractions, decimals and percents. Over thirty blackline masters follow the text.

Review by Heather Taylor, editor of Connect magazine. From the September–October 2008 issue of Connect, published by Synergy Learning International, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Connect, © 2008 by Synergy Learning International, Inc.

Good Questions for Math Teaching: Why Ask Them and What to Ask, Grades 5–8 by Lainie Schuster and Nancy Canavan Anderson, is divided into three sections: the first section addresses the practice of good questioning, followed by how to use the book, and lastly, good questions to use in a mathematics class.

This book has myriad suggestions and ideas that will be useful for administrators, mathematics coaches, middle and elementary school teachers, and substitutes.

Reviewed by Elisabeth Javor, Editorial Panel for The California Mathematics Council ComMuniCator. From the December 2006 issue of The CMC ComMuniCator. Reproduced with permission, © 2006.

Good Questions for Math Teaching: Why Ask Them and What to Ask, K–6

Powerful instruction involves high quality questioning to make student learning public and to inform teachers’ decision making. As math educators strive to better understand student thinking and support diverse paths to solutions, good questions inform this work. Students can learn by answering good questions and teachers can learn about each student from his or her answers.

Good Questions for Math Teaching is a useful resource book for elementary teachers of mathematics. The book is divided into two parts. Part One provides straightforward background information on the importance of questioning. Characteristics of good questions are provided. A method for creating good questions is outlined, and strategies for utilizing questions in the classroom are listed. For teachers seeking to improve their questioning skills, this section offers practical advice for formulating and utilizing questions in the classroom…

Good Questions for Math Teaching helps teachers define and use good questions and provides a wide variety of sample questions that are efficiently organized. High quality questions are a critical component of powerful instruction, and this resource book may help elementary teachers improve this aspect of their instructional practice.

Review by Bill Nutting, Staff Development Director, Mount Vernon School District, Mount Vernon, Washington, from the Summer 2003 issue of Intersection. Reprinted with permission from Intersection, © 2003, by ExxonMobil Corporation.

Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies, Grades K–5

“Sherry Parrish outlines the very best way to teach math to young children and gives educators access to the ideas and methods that they will need. This book is a valuable resource for anyone who cares about children’s mathematical development.”

Jo Boaler, professor, Stanford University
Author of What’s Math Got to Do with It? Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject

“The practice of number talks is one of the most powerful vehicles I know for helping students learn to reason with numbers and make mathematically convincing arguments, for building a solid foundation for algebraic reasoning, and for teaching mathematics as a sense-making process. If all teachers make this shift in their practice, it would represent a profound advancement in mathematics education.”

Ruth Parker, CEO
Mathematics Education Collaborative (MEC)

Classroom Discussions in Math: A Teacher’s Guide for using talk moves to support the Common Core and more, Grades K–6

“If you need to select one resource to help you address the Common Core call for discussion, this is the one to get!”

Sarah Michaels, Professor and Chair, Education Department, and Senior Research Scholar at the Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education,
Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

“This new edition of Classroom Discussions in Math is my “go-to” resource for helping educators implement strategies that engage all students in conversations that can deepen their understanding of mathematics. Video clips clearly demonstrate what productive talk looks like during math instruction, and the suggestions for refl ecting on the lessons are extremely helpful. Classroom Discussions in Math has transformed my own teaching, profoundly changing how I support English language learners.”

Rusty Bresser, Lecturer and Supervisor of Teacher Education,
University of California, San Diego

“This book gives teachers concrete tools—talk moves—that provide security and a framework to open up discussion in the math classroom. The talk moves will enhance daily conversations, professional development, and most of all the conversations heard in classrooms.”

Lori Murach, math program supervisor, Department for School Improvement,
North East ISD, San Antonio, Texas

“Boston Teacher Residency instructors and coaches have used the resources in the Classroom Discussions in Math program to design assignments for residents and for teacher study groups, and as content for the professional learning of the community of BTR coaches. As a result of focusing on student learning and understanding as it is constructed in classrooms through talk, we are getting better at assessing effective teaching. The inclusion of authentic classroom videos in the new edition will help us in this work of making professional learning powerful and precise.”

Lynne Godfrey, Co-Director of Clinical Teacher Education,
Boston Teacher Residency

“Using this resource in book study groups and then coaching teachers to use the strategies presented has really changed teacher practice.”

Janie Merendino, math coach,
Fairmont, West Virginia