Thursday, April 24, 2014

Number Talks {I’m a Believer!}

I posted earlier about my good friend coming to my classroom and modeling how to do a number talk with my class.  Since that day, we have used a number talk as our math warm up every day.  I am a believer…in love…sold.  My copy of the book finally came in and I can’t put it down.

photo 1

After just two chapters, our number talks this week have already been so much better!  If you are looking for a way to build number sense in your students, to encourage them to think about numbers and number relationships, and to work with students on their communication skills and explaining your thinking, number talks is for you.  I found an introductory video on You Tube that was helpful and watched several others before trying one on my own.  Also, the book comes with a DVD that is full of Number Talks filmed in K-5 classrooms….truly amazing stuff!

Here is a picture of what our board looked like after our number talk last Thursday.

photo 2

The things I love about Number Talks:
  1. My students are looking more at number relationships and patterns and relying less on algorithms.
  2. My students are able to explain their thinking more clearly and more precisely.
  3. Having to defend their answers has helped them to see when they have made mistakes in their thinking.  More than one kiddo has started to defend their answer, got about a third of the way through, and said, “Oh, wait a minute….”
  4. Number Talks use just about every single one of the 8 mathematical practices.
  5. I feel like my students are improving at problem solving and persevering. They don’t give up as easily when presented with a challenge.
  6. They are developing several strategies so that when one isn’t working for them, they have something else to try.
  7. They have starting to look at whether answers are reasonable or not by using estimation.
I am sure as we keep going with our number talks I will have many more to add to the list!
In the meantime, I made these little cards to print and put on a ring that I have with me during our Number Talks and problem solving time.  I am having to train myself to take a step back and let my students do most of the talking.  Number Talks are about their thinking, not mine.  These cards have question stems for each of the 8 mathematical practices. You can click on the picture to download them for free! 

8 Mathematical Practices Questioning Stems

If you use Number Talks in your classroom, I would love to hear more about how they work for you!  If you don’t use them or haven’t heard of them I encourage you to check out the YouTube video and the book.  It is kind of pricey but I went in to my principal, told him what my friend had just done with my kids in my classroom and showed him the book.  He ended up buying it for me and telling me that he possibly wants a presentation on it early next year!  I can definitely see the benefits of having the K-2 teachers on board.  I can’t even imagine the number sense they would come to me with!  It makes my heart swell just thinking about it!

1 comment:

  1. I'm just starting the book and excited about it! I will let you know more of what I think about it after I've delved into it a little more! I'm looking forward to hearing more of what you think about it also!