Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Multiplication Number Talks: Wonderful Idea Wednesday

Today, I'm Linking up over at freebielicious for Wonderful Idea Wednesday. I am so excited to be joining this link up and sharing my idea on Number Talks! 

Last year, I started doing number talks in my classroom. It was an essential part of our math curriculum, but I didn't really understand it when I was teaching First Grade. Now, I don't think I can live without it! My kiddos learned so many strategies when we did our number talk discussions. They worked with others to become more fluent mathematicians and became great mathematical thinkers through this daily practice.

What is a number talk, you ask?

Number talks can be summed up as: the best part of my whole day! It's one of the most powerful daily activities I do, and teaches the kids so many important things - mathematical computation, strategies, discussion, etc.

What are the goals of a number talk?

Now, I don't have a video of myself doing a number talk with my kiddos, although I wish I did ... but I do have a video for you to take a look at to get some ideas of what a number talk looks like...

I love this video, I even learned some new things (showing the 2, 3, etc on the hands to show your strategies)!

How does my number talk work?
- It's the first thing I do in the morning after attendance and lunch count/ correcting their morning work
- I gather the kiddos at the carpet and review the "rules" for our number talk (think in your head, thumbs up when you have the answer, don't shout out, come to an agreement)

- I use my Number Talks products from TPT to project a question on the whiteboard

- The students silently think through the problem using a strategy the are comfortable with and can explain, when they are ready they put their thumb up and wait for other students to be done.

- I ask the students to talk to their partner (first they tell them their answer, then they take turns explaining their strategy for solving. I have purposefully sat them at the carpet next to someone they can talk to and that could scaffold their learning)

- I listen to the students conversations and keep in mind a few students that I would like to explain their strategy, sometimes I purposefully pick someone who had a misconception so we can address that.

- The students explain their thinking to me, and I write what I'm hearing on the board. This helps students refine their explanations.

- We come to an agreement on the answer and go on to the next question. IF the students do not see the connection between the questions I ask, then I will point it out at the end, but the way my number talks are built, they eventually will see the connections and start to use them in their math work outside of the number talks.

There are several things that students need to be able to successfully participate in a number talk:
1.A safe environment
2.Problems of various levels of difficulty that can be solved in a variety of ways 
3.Concrete models
4.Opportunities to think first and then check


This has been one of the most successful programs in my classroom, and I was thoroughly impressed with all the growth I saw in my students last year, and can't wait to get going with multiplication next year!

If you are interested in my powerpoints for addition, subtraction and multiplication: check them out here!

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea! I love having students talk about math and sharing strategies, but I have never done it in such an organized format. The video was extremely helpful.