I constantly tell my students that I care SO much more about their mathematical thinking than about the “right answer.” I want my students to be creative mathematicians who can find their own paths to a solution rather than blindly following a prescribed set of steps or rules. I want them to be flexible thinkers who can find more than one way towards a solution. And I want my students to be expert communicators who can follow the mathematical thinking of their peers, question, critique, and ultimately learn from one another.
That is why number talks have become a routine part of my classroom teaching. Daily number talks are 10 minutes well spent towards building wonderful computational skills, reinforcing number sense, and working on the habits of mind that not only make my students stronger mathematicians, but also stronger problem solvers and communicators in all academic areas. Read on for tips and resources about how to host number talks and to watch a video of a number talk in action in my classroom.