Let's Talk Numbers with Number Talks | Grade 2 Hullabaloo: Let's Talk Numbers with Number Talks

Monday, November 10, 2014

Let's Talk Numbers with Number Talks

Several weeks ago, my principal asked if anyone was interested in attending a math training. Loving math the way that I do, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed! Sherry Parrish was the presenter, and she was fantastic. 

Her book, Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies was the foundation of her presentation. She made several points that really had an impression on me. The most impressive one was that children don't have a problem-solving strategy in their tool box unless they ACTIVELY USE AND UNDERSTAND IT, even if we have taught it until we're blue in the face. So, all those times we've taught 'make ten to add nine' or use a near double to help solve a tricky problem, or even breaking a number into clean, friendly or landmark numbers, not to mention decomposing, could be said to be hopeful teaching, but in no way do they definitely make it into a student's tool box. A 5-15 minute number talk, each day, DOES really help students to put those suggested strategies into practice. 

Parrish's book has correlation charts for grade levels, skills, and even Common Core State Standards. It also has classroom videos of actual number talks with real teachers and kiddos. The book is easy to use, as it is tabbed with information for each grade level (K-5). Tomorrow, I'll have colleagues coming to observe the number talk in my classroom. I'm excited to share this simple, powerful activity with them. The best part? My students love them and they're applying many of the strategies I've mentioned! Win-win!

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