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What Teachers Are Saying About ST Math Chats

What’s getting students so engaged that they’re explaining their mathematical thinking? According to our teachers, ST Math Chats provide experiences that spark rich math discussion!

Earlier this year, we announced ST Math Chats as a new feature coming to ST Math®. Teachers across the country have been sharing their excitement.

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Liz Blose, a 5th Grade Teacher at Fogelsville Elementary in the Parkland School District was among the teachers that took to Twitter to voice her support.

Teachers who have enjoyed early access to ST Math Chats are seeing the rich math discussion and powerful math experiences that result from implementing them in the classroom. These can be used to introduce new math concepts, dive deeper into current concepts, and review concepts to strengthen understanding.

ST Math Chats use the visual models and manipulatives of ST Math puzzles to deepen learning through whole-class discussion. ST Math Chats are 25-30 minute lessons that utilize 1:1 or 2:1 technology to create an interactive learning and sharing experience. 

Now that teachers, educators, and ST Math users have had the opportunity to experience ST Math Chats firsthand, we’ve gathered their feedback and want to share it with you.

What Teachers Are Saying About ST Math Chats

One teacher who implemented ST Math Chats once every other week, shared, “The kids really enjoyed it and it allowed me to see what a lot of their misconceptions were.” 

This was an overwhelming theme in the feedback from teachers. By including discourse and encouraging conversations around mathematical concepts, students are able to deepen their learning, introduce correct language, and comprehend these concepts better.

Teacher Learning Impacts Student Learning

Another teacher shared, “My most positive experience was having students explain concepts that they understand, but lack the words. Seeing how their flexible minds find answers that we didn't even think about at that time. I can do a quick teach of a difficult concept like area/perimeter and I can walk around checking each one for understanding, reteaching, and deeper thinking.”

Abbi Lievens, a second grade teacher, shared her excitement on Twitter.

Another powerful, common theme in ST Math Chat feedback was the increased engagement that teachers saw as a direct result of implementing the program in the classroom.

Sandra Consilio, Director of Learning for MIND Research Institute, shared her feedback from Melanie Cooper, a STREAM teacher at Freeport Elementary.

How To Incorporate ST Math Chats

ST Math Chats lessons are aligned to grades 3-5 standards, and are designed for easy implementation. Using a Play-Discuss-Apply model, these lessons designate time for students to play an ST Math game, participate in discussion, and apply what they’ve learned on a conclusion problem. Each lesson provides opportunities for whole class, small group, and partner discussion.

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Why Incorporate ST Math Chats?

Teachers can easily launch ST Math Chat lessons directly from their ST Math console and jump into a guided experience that uses the visual models and manipulatives of ST Math puzzles to spark rich math discussion.

We asked teachers why they implemented ST Math Chat lessons and the feedback showed that their motivation differed with each teacher. Some of the teachers introduced them to share new content. Some teachers implemented ST Math Chats to review mathematical concepts.

Other reasons for implementation varied, including:

  • To enhance conceptual development.
  • For formative assessments.
  • As an innovative way to engage students.
  • To grow problem-solving and discussion.
  • To replace existing learning resources.

Meagan Erwin, a third grade educator from Columbus City Schools shared, "If a teacher is just using ST Math during their computer time or their lab time right now, this is a great, easy way to step into doing whole group, whole class lessons using this incredible tool.”

How Educators Are Using ST Math Chats

Schools collaborating with us to improve the program varied in the way they introduced ST Math Chats into their classrooms. Teachers and schools alike face constraints that affect their time, resources, and implementation practices.

We asked teachers using ST Math Chats what their implementation was like. We discovered that implementation looked different across state lines and in each classroom. Some teachers used ST Math Chats several times a week. Others, used it every other week. Some teachers chose to use it each time they introduced a new topic or concept to the class.

Across the board, regardless of the implementation method or what they were solving for, over 92.9% of teachers agreed that ST Math Chats helped to increase math discourse with students. Thank you to all of the teachers for proving their feedback and helping us improve this feature in beta for grades 3-5!

One teacher shared, “They have been fantastic for engaging my students and pushing their thinking this year. Thank you!”

Play ST Math Games

Jolene Haley

About the Author

Jolene Haley is the Engagement Content Specialist at MIND Research Institute. In addition to creating content for MIND, she is an author, avid reader, and lover of iced coffee.

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