Math 3-6

Sentence Frames

Overview

Sentence frames or stems can serve as language support to enrich students' participation in academic discussions. As a scaffold for students to start and structure an explanation or question, sentence frames help all students develop more fluent Math Communication and, in particular, allow students with varying English proficiency to use more complex language and academic vocabulary.

Use It in the Classroom

Starting at 0:34, watch how this teacher models using sentence frames to decompose numbers. By using this frame, students practice explaining their thinking with math language.

  • Teachers can incorporate and model sentence frames both orally and in writing. For math talks, students can use sentence frames like "The strategy I used was…" or "Can you explain why you…?" to explain their mathematical thinking with precise language and for peer critique. When problem solving, these supports can also prompt students to think more deeply and elaborate in their written answers.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Products can provide sentence frames (e.g., "I knew to multiply/divide because ____") as options for students to use when they have to explain or justify their thinking.