Presentation on implementing
Number Talks in K5 classrooms

Videos

Number Talks
book by Sherry Parrish
Available for purchase at
Math Solutions and other locations

Helpful Hints for Implementing Number Talks
Ruth Parker and Cathy Young
 Do number talks every day but only for 10 minutes. A few minutes more often is better than a lot of minutes infrequently.
 Ask questions such as:
 How did you think about that?
 How did you figure it out?
 What did you do next?
 Why did you do that? Tell me more.
 Who would like to share their thinking?
 Did someone solve it a different way?
 Who else used this strategy to solve the problem?
 What strategies do you see being used?
 Which strategies seem to be efficient, quick, simple?
 What similarities do you see between _(student’s name)_ and _(student’s name)_ strategies?
 Experiment with using the overhead, whiteboard, document camera, chart paper, etc.
 Consider having students “circle up” in chairs or on the floor for discussion.
 Give yourself time to learn how to:
 Record student solutions
 Listen to and observe students
 Collect notes about student strategies and understanding
 To help determine what numbers or problems you select and use what you learn from previous number talks as well as the focus of your daily classroom instruction.
 Do number talks with yourself and others to try new strategies and increase your own confidence.
 Name/label the strategies that emerge from your students:
 Use doubles
 Break apart numbers
 Make it simpler
 Use landmark numbers (25, 50, 75, 200, etc.)
 Use a model to help
 Use what you already know
 Make a "10"
 Start with 10s
 Think about multiples
 Think about money
 Counting on
 Traditional algorithm
 Use related problems: 3 x 14, 3 x 114, 3 x 1104, 7 + 8, 27 + 8, 107 + 8, or 3 x 6 x 7.
 Do number talks in small groups.
 Ask students to “Do as much of the problem as you can.”
 Give students lots of practice with the same kind of problems.
 Use numbers for subtraction and addition that require student work past 10 or 100 such as 879 OR 94+8 OR 1068.
 Give students opportunities to add and subtract 9, then 8, etc. using 10 as a friendly number to work with such as 68 + 10 = 78 so 68 + 9 = 77.
 Expect students to think about numbers, not count on their fingers.
 Give students larger numbers so they can give estimates.
 When using chart paper, write down the student’s name next to their solution. Keep track of who is participating and their strategies. After a few weeks of referring to the strategy by the students name transfer the title to a strategy name. Such as “Break Apart” or “Making Landmark Numbers”.
 Create a safe environment. When children feel safe, they are comfortable sharing answers even when it’s different from everyone else’s.
 Provide concrete models (snap cube “trains”, base 10 blocks, money, etc.).
 Give opportunities for children to “think first” and then check with the models.
 Have students occasionally record their thinking and the steps they use to solve a problem.
 Encourage selfcorrection; it’s okay to change your mind, analyze your mistake, and try again.
 Provide number stories.
 Be curious; avoid making assumptions.
 Give number talks time to become part of your classroom culture. Expect to follow the usual learning curve stages. “Keep on keeping on” and you will get positive results!

Resources
Presentation given by
Sherry Parrish
Number Talks information
from Math Perspectives
Get2MathK5 website
Presentation on Math Talks
given at NCTM conference
