**, graciously agreed to do a question and answer session with our followers. We hope you will take the time to absorb her thoughts and suggestion for using Number Talks in your classroom/building. If you are not familiar with Sherry's outstanding book, or have just happened upon our blog today, feel free to visit our**

*Number Talks**. Many thanks go out to Sherry!*

**Number Talks Book Study Archive**

**What suggestions do you have for the implementation of number talks as a building? Steps for beginning? Unforeseen obstacles? General suggestions?**I cannot emphasize enough the importance of starting small to allow students and teachers an opportunity to establish protocols for respectful conversations and the expectation that mathematics should make sense. Beginning with dot cards for all grade levels, basic facts before moving into higher computation, etc., allows the routines of a Number Talk to be established.

It is also helpful to frame computation problems in a brief context so that the numbers can be anchored to specific situations. For example, instead of posting 13 – 7 as a bare problem, we could frame it in a story such as

*I want to read 13 pages each night. I have read 7 pages. How many more pages do I need to read?*The context supports the reasoning and can also influence specific strategies.

Another critical area that is often overlooked is the importance of educating our parents and providing support for them as they look at mathematics from a different framework. Invite parents to visit your classrooms or host a grade-level open house with a Number Talk demonstration. Send out a podcast of a classroom Number Talk or tweet a link to a video clip with student strategies. I have found that when parents see that their children can arrive at an answer faster than they can, they are sold!

Finally, the biggest misunderstanding I see with Number Talks is that educators believe they must directly teach the strategies in the Number Talk book. While my book lists numerous strategies for each operation, the strategies are there to provide a support for teachers so they can anticipate possible ideas that will arise during the Number Talk. A Number Talk is designed to use purposeful problems that allow students to use numerical relationship to “

**invent**” their own strategies. In fact, the strategies in my book were ones I learned from my students and not ones I taught them!

**Do you ever use number talks with missing addends?**

**I teach fifth grade, and I have not used number talks. None of my colleagues before me have used number talks. Where do I begin?**- It is difficult to be threatened by a collection of dots! Students begin to relax and realize that mathematics is about making sense and reasoning. Confidence begins to grow when students are successful.
- Students begin to see there are multiple ways to arrive at the same answer. This is such an important disposition to build with students, especially with those that have had difficulty memorizing one way.
- Starting with something as simple as a dot card allows the teacher to begin building norms for productive discourse.

**What projects/publications, if any, do you have in the works?**
Love the point about older kids being more likely to say "no thank you" to mathematics. When I started number talks in my school, it was much easier in K-2. The older kids took more coaxing but it has been a great transformation to see how their thinking and comfort with math talk has changed.

ReplyDeleteTara

The Math Maniac