# Explorando las "charlas matemáticas" con problemas de matemáticas para 2º grado y más allá

Explorando las "charlas matemáticas" con problemas de matemáticas para 2º grado y más allá

Teachers often shy away from delving too deep into the subject of math, as it can quickly become a source of confusion or frustration for them or their students. This trend is easily magnified by the fact that in early childhood curricula, language arts is often viewed as a higher priority. “Math Talks” or “Number Talks” is a powerful instructional strategy that teachers in the Collaborative’s Proyecto de innovaciones han estado utilizando para ayudar a cerrar esta brecha. Como su nombre indica, La Estrategia pedagógica de Math Talks hace hincapié en la comunicación oral en torno a una serie de problemas matemáticos cuidadosamente elaborados. Por lo general, se trata de una actividad breve (de 5 a 15 minutos), en la que llas niñas y niños resuelven problemas matemáticos mentales que construyen el sentido numérico.

Diana Miranda, a second-grade teacher at Jordan Elementary School, regularly uses Math Talks in her classroom. “They challenge my students to be more specific in their reflections,” she said. When sharing strategies with the rest of the class, students learn to clarify and express their thinking, thereby developing strong mathematical language.

All too often, students view math as a series of rules to be memorized and plugged in to solve a problem. Even when they reach a correct answer, they might not comprehend how or why their method works. “I’m not focusing on the perfect answer, but rather a good conversation,” explains Miranda. These conversations have directed Miranda’s students to develop a growing number of strategies, such as making friendly numbers, using doubles, finding landmark numbers, and recognizing the commutative property. These strategies eventually lead to that “perfect answer,” but more importantly, bolster overall math comprehension.

I’m not focusing on the perfect answer, but rather a good conversation.

La conversación puede resultar beneficiosa no sólo para una niña o niño que hace problemas de matemáticas para 2º grado y que intenta explicar su pensamiento, sino que también es beneficiosa para el resto en el salón de clase. Escuchar las explicaciones desde el punto de vista de una compañera o compañero y no de la maestra o maestro puede dar a menudo una nueva perspectiva sobre una idea matemática confusa. Las niñas y niños también pueden ver que sus compañeras y compañeros utilizan diferentes estrategias de resolución de problemas, que pueden probar ellos mismos. Miranda también recomienda que tomen turnos y hablen en medio de las charlas de matemáticas. De este modo, muchas más niñas y niños tienen la oportunidad de hablar en voz alta sobre su pensamiento. Algunos pueden sentirse más cómodos justificando sus estrategias en este entorno más reducido.

Para los amantes de las artes del lenguaje, la investigación ha demostrado que este método de enseñanza de las matemáticas basado en el debate mejora simultáneamente las habilidades matemáticas y lingüísticas. En su presentación at our International Symposium on Early Mathematics Education in 2010, Dr. Doug Clements explains that while a strong language arts program will indeed improve students’ language arts scores on standardized tests, a strong math program, specifically one requiring its students to continually explain their thinking, improves both math and language arts scores. He suggests that a rich math environment regularly incites students to “dig down” to explain difficult concepts, teaching them strategies that they can apply in seemingly unrelated areas.

Implementing Math Talks in the classroom does involve a good deal of planning. Selecting problems that will make specific concepts evident to students is the first step. The teacher must also anticipate possible student responses and practice the mathematical model that best represents each student’s thinking. Inevitably, students solve the problem using a method the teacher had not imagined, in which case some level of improvisation is required. In the end, both teacher and student may be challenged, but those challenges can result in increased understanding for everyone involved.