Number Talks: A Great Tool to Promote Number Sense in Young Mathematicians Jessica Garza & Mindy Cantu What are Number Talks? Number Talks are mathematical conversations where students mentally solve computation problems and use communication to explain the strategy/strategies used to determine the solution (Figure 1). The purpose of Number Talks are for students to: * Explore mathematical relationships (patterns, composing/decomposing of numbers) * Engage in mathematics conversations (listen to peers' strategies, develop academic vocabulary) * Develop number sense/mathematical reasoning Figure 2. A teacher scribing student's strategies Figure 3. Students participating in a Number Talk Figure 1. Chart paper showing various ways of finding 28+28 Why Did We Start Number Talks? We started Number Talks because we wanted to facilitate conversations within our Mathematician's Workshop that would allow students to be curious, take risks, make mistakes, and explore mathematics strategies without the pressure of "getting it right." We also started Number Talks because we wanted to deepen our students' number sense, use of discourse in mathematics, and mathematical reasoning skills. How Did We Start Number Talks? Getting started with Number Talks is fairly simple. All you need is somewhere to scribe (whiteboard, chart paper, etc.) (Figure 2) and students who are ready to participate (Figure 3). www.txmathteachers.org Below are some key steps to getting started with Number Talks. Number Talk: Steps for the Teacher 1. Set norms for Number Talks * Mathematicians listen to each other. * Mathematicians explain their thinking. * Mathematicians use hand signals. * Mathematicians make mistakes. * Mathematicians take risks. 2. Record the problem or number string horizontally on chart paper/whiteboard, etc. 3. Ask for student answers and record the answers (no explanation). 4. Ask students to defend an answer and explain the strategy used to find the answer. 5. Record the student's strategy and the student's name Fall/Winter 2020 | 19http://www.txmathteachers.org

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