Time SAVER: Math Talk Matrix

In hopes of blogging more, I'm going to try a series of posts called

All the ideas featured take very little time to implement on your end, but can have great results for your students.

Each post will include 1 tool or idea to try to help students in some way, in some subject. Pretty open ended, I know. The goal is for the posts to be short and to the point so that you can implement it right away!

The first time SAVER I'm sharing about is a math talk matrix. I learned of this concept from my EL coteacher a couple years ago. We noticed students (both ELs and native speakers) wouldn't always use the correct operation language when discussing math. Some examples included...

"I plussed 6 and 8 and got 14."

"I used times to solve it."

She used a matrix to help them and it worked! Instead of correcting students constantly, offer prompts and options so they can start pausing, reflecting, selecting and using the correct form of the word you want them to in the right situation.

When working with word problems, students need to find out what operation to use. Start by asking, "Which operation should you use?" You are asking for a noun (-tion turns words into nouns). Have students circle the noun and then speak or write the sentence to answer the question. Then they write the equation. Ask them, "What is the equation?" You are having them join numbers, so you want them to use the conjunctions plus, minus, times, divided by. Again, have them write or speak it out. I like to have them add the word to match the symbol. Finally, you can ask them, "How did you solve the problem?" You are asking for a past-tense verb here. Have them circle the word that matches their past action.

Gives this a try to help correct that math talk! Click the image below to download!


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