Connecting the Conversations to the Math Goal.
Sometimes it may all seems too complicated to ask assessing and advancing questions, select and sequence student work, support productive struggle, look for different mathematical representations, and add in study team strategies to structure the learning.
But the method to the madness of teaching is to always keep the math goal of the lesson front and foremost and certain in your and your students’ minds!
Your decisions to ask certain questions, use certain strategies, provide certain support, and select specific thinking come from the steady place of being a “more knowledgeable other” in relation to the math of the lesson. When you have a clear and specific math goal for a lesson, all of your other planning and decision making that happens during class will be easier because it will flow from that goal. A clear goal can also help you and students know what NOT to focus on and can allow for celebration when even small steps are made towards the understanding outlined in the goal. A positive reminder: Sharing the math goal each day with your students and calling their attention to it throughout the lesson can be very powerful in focusing the time you dedicate to math learning each day.