Inviting all students to reason and communicate with Choral Counting!
Have you done Choral Counting? Many teachers are reporting trying this reasoning routine with their own students. This routine was recently highlighted by Achieve the Core in a recent blog post "Choral Counting: A Lever to Develop Fraction Understanding".
Here's the basic structure of the routine (which is adaptable to your own context).
You begin by giving your class a "Count by ____, starting from ____." In the example to the right, we counted by 1/6, starting from 1/6. After the class reasons together through the first several numbers, a rhythm begins to occur and the Choral Counting begins. As the class counts together, you write the numbers on the board in an array of rows and columns. By creating a written record of the count, you've now captured the data generated by your students' verbal output. Stop the count after you've got enough data for students to explore.
At this point, offer the class the question "What do you notice?" and let them quietly observe the data of the count. Invite students to share what they notice with a partner so that everyone is talking. To support partner conversations, offer students a language scaffold such as "I notice ___. What do you notice?".
Now invite students to share what they noticed with the whole class. Ask purposeful questions to clarify what the student noticed. Record each new idea directly onto the data using a different color for each share. With our Fraction Choral Count, students were able to see how the numerator changed with each new number in the count, while the denominator stayed the same (an important concept of fractions).
Finally, offer a couple of 'mystery boxes' for students to predict what number would be in the box. Encourage students to use what the class noticed to help make the predictions. To support the mathematical language of justifying, offer a sentence frame such as "I think the number in the mystery box is ___ because...".
Choral Counting invites all students to reason and communicate by looking for patterns, making predictions, and constructing an argument. It's great for concepts such as counting, multiples, place value, base-10 number system, fractions, decimals, and time measurement.
If you try Choral Counting, tell me about it. Share your tips or send a photo of your students' count to me. If you'd like to do Choral Counting with your students and want a partner to try it with, I'm happy to join you in your classroom. Contact me.
For more information on Choral Counting, check out https://tedd.org/choral-counting/