ABSTRACT

Leveraging patterns of talk over time helped Pueblo Gardens Elementary School flower into a healthy mathematical learning environment where high-poverty children were able to become highly successful in mathematics. Although Ping-Pong Patterns of talk are very common, they generally are ineffective. Without a doubt, patterns of talk within classrooms have a considerable effect on student learning. But continual venting without focusing on actions leads to talk that spirals lower and lower. In the same way, patterns of talk among adults significantly influence a school’s ability to change its mathematics culture. Assuming the Best is a highly effective pattern based on the fact that, indeed, most principals, teachers, coaches, and children really want to do the right thing. One of the patterns of talk that makes the most significant difference in their work at schools is how they end meetings and important conversations.