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