Using talking points for Maths can be really revealing as to the amount your children understand. You can really challenge children’s ideas about a particular concept by creating a statement that is right, wrong or partially right. The children should then have the opportunity to discuss these points saying whether they are true or false.
“Talking points offers a strategy for stimulating speaking, listening, thinking and learning. Talking points are basically a list of thoughts- statements which may be factually accurate, contentious or downright wrong. They provide a focus for speaking and listening and a chance to find out what others think […] Talking points are easy to make up, read and understand, but offer ways in to thinking more deeply about the subject under discussion.” Lyn Dawes
Peer discussion can provide a better learning opportunity at times than the teacher can by standing at the front and speaking parrot fashion. Very often the children make discoveries from one another and in challenging their ideas can reach the right conclusion. This is more powerful than just telling them the correct answer.
Here are some examples of talking points you could use in Key Stage 1 and Foundation.
•When you multiply a number by 10, you add a zero.
•When you multiply by 5 the answer always end in a 0 or a 5.
•Even numbers end in 0,2,4,6,8.
•37 is an odd number.
•A square is a type of rectangle.
•All quadrilaterals have four sides.
The picture above shows a scaffold for the talking points created to decide what the children understand about fractions. The idea is that children would discuss these points in pairs, trios or groups saying which are true or false. It is always a good idea to give the children the sentence stems you would like them to use. Children can then share their thoughts as a class at the end explaining why they think something. This activity could be linked to the Think with your feet activity to get a good view as to what children think and also give them the opportunity to change their mind with new information.