Tweaking Number Talks
Working Through Number Talks
Before proceeding I recommend reading my previous post Working Through Number Talks to get a better sense of the issues I came across as I implemented Number Talks into my classroom before the tweak I will mention below.
I wish I could say that the solution I came up with to the problems I was having with Number Talks in my classroom were more earth shattering and extravagant then the following tweak. An inexpensive popular class supply: Notebook cut in half.
With the integration of the tweak my Number Talks routine is as follows:
Begin the Number Talk routine as usual but we only discuss the first two questions of the four-question string as a class.
Once we are finished the two questions on the whiteboard each student grabs their Number Talk booklet (I color code them to make it quicker and easier for students).
Students open their booklets (I cut the corner to the page) and there are two questions written out for them where they show me their strategies to solve the questions.
When students are finished, they show me their booklets and I either provide quick feedback or take them in. When I take them in some of the students may have answered one or both questions incorrectly and that is okay… for now. While waiting for the other students to finish up I may have an open ended problem posted on the board or on a piece of paper for students to begin thinking about.
Once the five minute timer is up (making sure we don’t take up time from the rest of time together), all students hand in their booklets, whether they are finished or not and we move on with the math lesson or it is the end of our math block (having number talks at the beginning or end of the lesson will depend on what type of activity/problem we are working on that day).