If you haven’t heard of number talks by now, it may be safe to say you have been a bit disconnected from the math world. Five to fifteen minutes is all it takes to encourage math discussions among students, get an idea of the strategies your students possess, capture student thinking for everyone to see and/or reinforce ideas which may not fit into your current unit of study.
At the elementary level, I’ve seen the tremendous effect number talks can have on students’ thinking, math language and strategy use. Just listen to these second graders discuss how they would make 24 from the given numbers 2nd graders making 24. This language and thinking was developed during daily number talks. Because I am an elementary teacher at heart I never thought about number talks in middle school.
That was until I accepted a position as a 7th grade math teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. As I dreamed about all of the things I would implement next year, number talks was high on my list. Thinking of how crazy it may seem having my students ponder about numbers, putting thumbs to chests and sharing strategies would be in a 7th grade classroom, those thoughts were silenced by a document shared by @ddmeyer on Twitter. Oakland Instructional Toolkit for Mathematics
From this document came my aspirations for number talks. Here’s what I envision; review many 6th grade concepts through number talks. This Summer I’ll review the 6th grade units as aligned by the GaDOE. Using each units concepts and standards, I’ll create number strings in which I will use on the days I don’t use Estimation 180. To capture student thinking, my goal is to snap a picture of the recordings and upload them into an Evernote notebook dedicated to Number talks. This will allow for the information to be accessed from wherever Internet is available.
Goal number 1: Implement Number Talks