I believe one of the best routines you can include in your math classroom are number talks. Number talks give kids a chance to think deeply about math operations, come up with their own strategies and justify their thinking. These are all important parts of the math learning process. And so with just 10-15 minutes a day, you can see tremendous growth over time! So I hope this set of number talk planning pages enables you to incorporate this important and meaningful routine.
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Planning Just Right Number Talks:
Because I try to create and share resources that will be useful to you and make your teaching job easier, I have often thought about creating ready to use number talks. There are other resources like that out there, where all the problems are laid out for you, ready to present.
The problem is that number talks work when they are designed with your students in mind. When the problems are chosen to meet them right where they are and to push and stretch them in ways that are appropriate.
Only you can choose the right problems and move ahead at a pace that is just right for your kids.
Planning number talks requires you to know where students are and then adapt and adjust as you see how they tackle certain problems. It requires adjusting when you’ve presented a problem that’s too difficult. Or jumping ahead because there’s little to no productive struggle.
Pre-planned number talks can never do that for you.
You know your students and their needs are different from the kids you taught last year or the kids you will teach next year.
So what I have for you instead are some simple number talk planning pages that can hopefully help guide you through planning what problems you’ll tackle with your kids and help you think through how you’ll adjust when necessary.
Number Talk Planning Pages:
This download is included in my online course, Meaningful Number Talks.
But if you are already familiar with number talks and use them regularly in your classroom, you might not need the entire course. So I’m sharing this set of planning pages free to help you get started.
This download includes a single page for recording what problem you’ll present to students each day, along with space for extensions or investigations that might come up.
There’s also space for 1-3 backup problems in case you need to pivot on the spot. Having these planned ahead of time will allow you to adjust easily.
Second, this download includes a page for you to think through an individual math problem. What are possible strategies that might come up? What probing questions will you ask students?
Finally, it includes space for you to reflect afterwards so you can continue to grow and improve as an educator.
There are color and black and white versions of each page. I hope this is a useful tool for you as you guide your students through number talks. And I hope these help you to be intentional about the types and sequence of problems you present to your students.
Looking for more in depth understanding of what number talks are, why they matter and how to get started? Check out my course, Meaningful Number Talks. This short course can be completed in a weekend, allowing you to begin number talks by Monday!
Ready to try out the planning pages? Just fill out the form below and they’ll be sent directly to your inbox! 🙂