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Partner Discussion Cards/Conversation Starters for Math Practices

Partner Discussion Cards/Conversation Starters for Math Practices

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This product features printable cards for student partners to use for accountable talk when problem-solving in math. The discussion questions are designed to help students reflect on and talk about each of the CCSS math practices.

By placing these conversation starters in your math centers / math stations or making them available to students during cooperative learning activities in math, you can help students meet the following K-12 Common Core math standards:

MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
MP3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
MP4 Model with mathematics.
MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
MP6 Attend to precision.
MP7 Look for and make use of structure.
MP8 Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

I've created 8 questions for each of the 8 math practices (64 questions in total.) Print the cards onto card stock or mount them on construction paper, then cut them apart and store them on an “o” ring/book ring.

When a pair of students uses the cards, the person on sitting on the left asks the question printed on the left side of the card, and the person sitting on the right uses the sentence stem on the right side of the card to help him or her answer the question. Then they switch roles.

The prompts go beyond asking students to explain how they arrived at an answer. They require students to reflect on strong math practices and how those practices helped them approach the problem in a systematic, logical way. They help students reflect on their plan for solving, what happened when they noticed their plan was or wasn’t working, how math tools assisted them, patterns they noticed, strategies they used for checking their work, and how they could prove their answer is correct.


The accountable talk cards are very versatile and can be used in lots of different ways:

* Choose one specific math practice and give a set of the 8 discussion cards for that practice to each pair or group of students. Challenge kids to pick one of the 8 cards during each math activity you do and discuss it together.

* Place the entire set of 64 discussion cards in your math center. Challenge students to pick one question to answer (verbally and/or in writing via a math journal) each time they go to the center.

* Choose one discussion card for each lesson or activity. Display the card for the class to see, and challenge students to delve deeply into it through written reflections and conversations.


The discussion cards were designed for grades 2-7 (younger students will need more support with reading and understanding some of the vocabulary).

The questions in these partner discuss cards are aligned with the ones I created for the Question Stems for Common Core Math Practices. You may want to use the question stems as a reference tool for yourself to ensure you are asking math practice questions on a regular basis, and to help you facilitate conversations with and between students.

Download the free preview to learn more about the cards and how they can be used.




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Question Stems for Common Core Math Practices
Math Talk Posters: Student conversation starters for problem solving
Discussion Starters for Math Problem Solving

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