Number Talks

Van De Walle, Teaching. Developmentally. • Richardson, Kathy,. Planning Guide for. Developing Number. Sense. • Richardson, Kathy, Math. Time: Thinking with. Numbers video. • TERC, Investigations. What behaviors to look for? • Students are listening to each other. • Students show increased confidence, flexibility, and.
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Aurora Public Schools

Number Talks What is a number talk?

What does a number talk look like? •

Number talks are a regular opportunity for students to engage in reasoning and meaning making in order to increase computational fluency. Students publicly communicate their thinking and develop flexible strategies. Strategies are scripted using a variety of models.

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The teacher poses a problem or a series of related problems to the whole class or a small group. The teacher provides adequate time for students to mentally compute a solution. The teacher accepts and records all answers. The teacher asks for students to explain their answers and scripts multiple student responses. Students have the opportunity to question, clarify and selfcorrect. The group comes to agreement on a correct solution. The pacing is quick to hold student engagement; over time all strategies are explored, but every student will not be heard every day.

What behaviors to look for? • •

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Students are listening to each other. Students show increased confidence, flexibility, and fluency with number and number sense. All students actively engage in trying the problem. A variety of strategies are suggested. Many student voices are

heard and validated.

Why do a number talk? •

• •

Number talks provide an opportunity for students to build on and make connections to prior understandings. Students have the opportunity to develop flexibility and fluency with mathematics. Teachers gather formative data about students’ understanding. Number talks establish and reinforce a culture for math discourse leading to students’ independence and agency. Number talks provide a visual record of student thinking that can be accessed in the classroom.

How do teachers support number talks? • • • • • • • • • •

Teachers provide manipulatives or models consistently to help students understand the underlying structure of numbers. Teachers choose problems based on student strengths. Problems can be posed in a context to support students making meaning. Teachers facilitate student talk by limiting their voice to clarification questions. Teacher’s mathematical notation of solutions puts students’ thinking into a visual format or model. Teachers maintain a neutral attitude while accepting and scripting solutions. While mathematically notating, teachers use a variety of visual models to represent student thinking. Mathematically notated student responses are posted as a classroom visual support. Teachers and students notice and label student strategies that can be added to the classroom record. Teachers choose problems based on both their observations of student work and grade level goals. Teachers choose problems and/or models that allow all students access to the problem.

Elementary Mathematic Curriculum Guide for Teachers - Revised 6/25/2008

What are some professional resources that support number talks? • •

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Van De Walle, Teaching Developmentally. Richardson, Kathy, Planning Guide for Developing Number Sense Richardson, Kathy, Math Time: Thinking with Numbers video TERC, Investigations