I propose that attending how symbolizing activity functions for teachers and students helps to characterize student-teacher communication, and allows for an investigation of how symbolizing activity contributes to learning. I begin this discussion by articulating four ideas-schemes, symbolizing activity, communication, and learning. Then I propose five different ways that symbolizing activity functions for students and teachers. I use these five functions to analyze a sample piece of data. The sample analysis illuminates how analyzing the functions of students' and teachers' symbolizing activity helps to characterize student-teacher communication, and how these functions contribute to learning on the part of a student and a teacher.