Texas Mathematics Teacher Fall/Winter 2020 - 21

Number Talks:
A Great Tool to Promote Number Sense in Young Mathematicians
How Do We Record Students' Thinking During
Number Talks?
Writing student names besides their strategy promotes
student ownership and encourages peers to remember the
strategies shared by their classmates (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Students' names are used to identify
their strategies

Here are some steps to follow when recording
student responses.
1. Ask for answers.
2. Record all answers given. If an answer is repeated,
record a check by the answer.
3. As students share strategies, record the strategies
in an understandable way and record the student's
name.
4. Optional: Record the name of strategy the student is
using (such as Make 10s).
What Have We Learned from the Process?
Number Talks have changed our daily routines for
the better! The process offers a great start to our
mathematician's workshop and encourages students to
start thinking critically and communicate their thinking
with others. Number Talks allow the teacher to better
assess students' number sense skills and fact fluency,
as well as to better frame which students might need
additional support with computation concepts. Number
Talks develop our students' ability to think flexibly and
efficiently with numbers and number relationships.
Because of the environment in which students feel safe to
take risks and make mistakes, students are excited to learn
from each other and more willing to try new strategies
learned from their peers. It is amazing to see the different
ways students think, and express themselves when given
the opportunity!

When scribing strategies, it is important to record them
clearly and exactly as the student is explaining (Figure
5). In Figure 5, Martin shows a "friendly 10" or "10
amigable," Galilea made "doubles" or "dobles," and
Oscar used "compensation" or "compensaciĆ³n" to solve
9+7+2
Jessica Garza * JGarza1@pasadenaisd.org
Mathematics Campus Coach
Williams Elementary School, Pasadena ISD

Mindy Cantu * MiCantu@pasadenaisd.org
Mathematics Teacher, Grade 2
Williams Elementary School, Pasadena ISD

See these books for more about Number Talks:
Humphreys, C. & Parker, R. (2015). Making number talks
matter: Developing mathematical practices and
Deepening Understanding, Grades 3-10. Portsmouth,
NH: Stenhouse Publishers.
Figure 5. Strategies may be named, such as
"dobles" or "10 amigable"
www.txmathteachers.org

Parrish, S. (2010). Number Talks. Sausalito, CA:
Math Solutions.
Fall/Winter 2020

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http://www.txmathteachers.org

Texas Mathematics Teacher Fall/Winter 2020

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