Number Talks

If you are part of HWDSB, and haven’t already heard, you’ll begin hearing rumblings about Number Talks by Sherry Parrish.  It’s not a new concept if you are familiar with Strings by Cathy Fosnot or Cluster Problems by Van de Walle.  It is, however, a very teacher friendly resource that maps out the process beautifully and simply.  The focus of such a program is mental math skills which is something that teachers frequently voice as being an area of student weakness.  The beauty of such a concept is that it requires 10 minutes a day and has proven to be very engaging for students.  With the new mandate of 60 minutes of math per day (previously 300 week, but didn’t specify that had to be 60 minutes each day), I got to thinking.  Most of us have 50 minute periods on balanced day.  My idea is that a teacher use a Number Talk outside of the 50 minute math period.  For example, teachers may wish to begin each day with their Number Talk for 10 minutes, or maybe after nutrition break each day, or whenever it fits in their schedule.  The regular math program can still exist within the regular time slot and voila, there’s your 60 minutes and it’s 60 minutes of real, meaningful math.  Doing a Number Talk will give you far more bang for your buck than having your students do calendar or drill sheets.  To read more about this amazing resource, see below: