Back Talk highlights the learning of one or two students and their approach to solving a math problem. Each article includes the prompt used to initiate the discussion, a portion of dialogue, student work samples (when applicable), and teacher insights into the mathematical thinking of the students. A teacher relates her one-on-one interview with a fifth-grade student who is asked to solve a word problem using mental math.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplemental Materials (PDF 195 KB)

Contributor Notes

Gary N. Utz, gutz@wcps.k12.va.us, teaches fifthgrade math at A. S. Rhodes Elementary School in Front Royal, Virginia. He is interested in helping students develop a deep understanding of elementary school math by engaging learners in mathematical discussions.

Edited by Megan Kelly Murray, mek2v@cms.mail.virginia.edu, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville; and Jane Moore, jmoore@nl.edu, an associate professor at National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. E-mail your insights into a student's mathematical thinking to tcm@nctm.org. Include Back Talk in the subject line. Find detailed submission guidelines for all departments at www.nctm.org/tcmdepartments.

(Corresponding author is Utz gutz@wcps.k12.va.us)
(Corresponding author is Murray mek2v@cms.mail.virginia.edu)
(Corresponding author is Moore jmoore@nl.edu)
Teaching Children Mathematics
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