One of my goals for this school year is to create opportunities for my students to talk about math. As I am going through a lesson, I have students do practice problems. I will ask them to do a problem and then check with their neighbor to see if they got the same answer. When the answers do not match, the students will figure out which one is incorrect and that involves math talk.
I have also tried to incorporate some group work into my lessons. Sometimes we spend two days on a lesson that is quite difficult. We do the first day as an instructional day and spend the second day in groups working on problems. I want the groups to try to answer any questions that arise without my help. If the group is completely stuck, then they may ask me. When the students have to explain math to each other, they retain the information. I really enjoy walking around the classroom on these days just listening to the math conversations. I need to continue to find more ways to create math talk in my classes. I believe it is a huge benefit to the students.