Number Talks Book Study
What is Number Talk?
This summary sheet outlines what a Number Talk is and gives an overview of the routine along with a description of the teacher's role during a Number Talk - Number Talks Overview & Teacher Role.
Meet the authors of Making Number Talks Matter, Ruth Parker and Cathy Humphries, as they discuss the power of number talks.
- Book Study Resources for Making Number Talks Matter
- Videos of Number Talks
- Resources for Classroom Implementation of Number Talks
- Research Supporting Number Talks
- Related Resources
- Study Guide
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
Article: Number Talks Overview & Teacher Role
A summary sheet that outlines what a Number Talk is and gives an overview of the routine along with a description of the teacher's role during a Number Talk.
Article: Number Talks Build Numerical Reasoning
A NCTM Teaching Children Mathematics article by Sherry Parrish, the author of the book Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies, Grades K-5, includes part of a transcript from a multiplication Number Talk and describes the key components for successful Number Talks.
Article: 13 Rules That Expire
An article from NCTM’s Teaching Children Mathematics outlines 13 “rules” that elementary students are often taught that do not hold true mathematically, such as “subtraction and division make numbers smaller” (½ ÷ ¼ = 2, and 2 is greater than ½).
Video: Number Talks - Building Numerical Reasoning
A 1-hour video of Sherry Parrish, respected author of Number Talks, speaking about how to strengthen students’ accuracy, efficiency and flexibility with mental math and computation strategies.
Video: Number Talks - Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies
Teacher testimonies to the power of Number Talks in helping students develop number sense.
Article: Use Number Talks to Boost Math Reasoning
An article by the Cathy Humphries and Ruth Parker, authors of Making Number Talks Matter, supporting the reading from the first two chapters of the book.
Blog: Math Reasoning Stages
Kristin Gray reflects on a list of “stages of math reasoning” that might offer teachers some ideas about how to help students “construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others” (SMP 3).
Three Articles: Math Reasoning Strategies - Whole Numbers, Decimals, Fractions
Three separate articles from Scholastic list mental strategies that use reasoning for addition/subtraction and multiplication/division with whole numbers and calls out strategies that aren’t appropriate for the numbers at hand with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions.
Article: Tips for Implementing Number Talks - Primary
An article from Math Perspectives offering tips for successful Number Talks in the primary classroom.
Article: Tips for Implementing Number Talks - Intermediate
An article from Math Perspectives offering tips for successful Number Talks in the intermediate classroom.
Reference Sheet: Summary of Guiding Principles for Number Talks
A summary of the principles outlined in Chapter 3 of Making Number Talks Matter.
Blog: Beginning Number Talks
Without describing specific student responses, Shelly Craig reflects briefly on three Number Talks, explaining why she selected subtraction problems and the general ups and downs of the sessions.
Blog/Video: Number Talks and Safe Classroom Culture
Often student misconceptions arise during Number Talks, and addressing those mistakes in a positive, safe way for the student can be challenging. Crystal Morey, a middle school teacher, shares what happened in her class and debriefs with Ruth Parker, co-author of Making Number Talks Matter.
Website and Handout: Effective Questioning
The San Francisco Unified School District offers a set of questions grouped by the Standards for Mathematical Practice to stimulate classroom discourse.
Book: The Danielson Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument
Review Danielson's components 2a Creating an Environment of Respect and 2b Establishing a Culture of Learning to think about what effective teaching looks like in these areas.
Video: Math and the Danielson Framework
A 3-minute video describing the important elements for a culture of learning in a mathematics classroom.
Reference Page: Addition & Subtraction Strategies
Georgia K-5 Mathematics Support offers this clear, well-organized at-a-glance sheet of addition and subtraction strategies that are supported by Number Talks.
Article: Why I Like Using Open Number Lines (Though I Don’t Like the Name)
Marilyn Burns talks about the usefulness of the open number line as a subtraction model.
Blog: The Meaning of Subtraction
Fifth grade math specialist, Kristin Gray reflects on a Number Talk and shares how she used a talk to dig deeper into students’ understanding and extend their thinking.
Blog: I Love Number Talks!
Elementary math specialist, Carrie Forsthoffer describes a subtraction Number Talk with fourth graders (247-98), including how she got into hot water and how she found her way back out.
Reference Page: Multiplication & Division Strategies
Georgia K-5 Mathematics Support offers this clear, well-organized at-a-glance sheet of multiplication and division strategies that are supported by Number Talks.
Presentation: Properties of Operations - Multiplication
A PowerPoint presentation (source unknown) walks through the five properties of multiplication (commutative, associative, distributive, zero, and identity) quickly and easily.
Article: Fluency without Fear
An article from Stanford professor, Jo Boaler's youcubed.org site shares research-based evidence on the best ways to learn math facts. A great article to read and discuss during a PLC.
Video: How to Learn Math Session 5.1 - Conceptual Learning, Number Sense
A video of Jo Boaler explaining research evidence on developing fluency pairs with her Fluency without Fear article. Watch at least the first 7.5 minutes for some great food for thought.
Presentation: Number Talks
Henry County Schools in Georgia make available a series of presentations for elementary teachers to use with addition and subtraction Number Talks.
Reference Page: Addition and Subtraction Strategies At a Glance
An outline of a variety of addition and subtraction strategies to draw out during Number Talks with examples for each.
Presentation: Properties of Operations - Addition
A presentation walking through the three properties of addition (commutative, associative, and identity quickly and easily.
Blog: Math Talks Fractions
Fifth grade teacher, Anne Walker describes several fraction addition Number Talks she conducted with her class.
Booklet: Maths4Life Fractions Booklet
A booklet from the UK for teachers helping students understand the concept of fractions, which suggests teaching approaches and would fit nicely into PLC teamwork thinking about the teaching of fractions.
Article: Teaching Fractions According to the CCSS-M
An article where teachers of grades 3-7 seeking better understanding of the CCSS-M are given guidance. Rather than reading the full article, consider using this document as a reference when planning for specific fraction-related standards, either independently or in a PLC.
Website: Getting Started with Effective Math Talk in the Classroom
One of the challenges of doing Number Talks is fostering student-to-student communication. This website shares a variety of tips and resources from Shametria L. Routt, including posters to hang in the classroom.
Article: Creating Math Talk Communities
Actionable tips help teachers create a learning community that fosters mathematical discussions among students in their classrooms.
Video: Silent Signals in the Math Classroom
A two minute K-5 video from the Teaching Channel which highlights the use of silent signals to maintain student engagement, several of which might be helpful during Number Talks.
Video: Improving Participation with Talk Moves
Several helpful talk moves to increase student engagement during Number Talks are modeled in this two minute Teaching Channel video, including repeating, adding on, and revising. While a fourth grade classroom is featured, the moves are appropriate K-12.
Protocols for Video Viewing
The following protocols can be used with any Number Talk video.
This protocol helps teachers identify the presence or absence of the Number Talk routines outlined in Chapter 2 of Making Number Talks Matter by Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker.
Reflecting on the Lesson
Connecting to the Number Talk planner in Appendix A of Making Number Talks Matter by Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker, this protocol encourage teachers to consider the questions and recording strategies modeled in the video.
Guiding Principles for Number Talks
A chart listing the guiding principles of Number Talks as defined in Chapter 3 of Making Number Talks Matter by Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker to allow viewers to record teacher moves aligned with each principle.
- First Grade
- Second Grade
- Third Grade
- Fourth Grade
- Fifth Grade
- Middle School
- High School
Dot Card Images
A set of dot cards ready to use for Number Talks.
Article: Number Talks for K-2 Teachers
A series of tips which includes suggested Number Talks to do with each grade level.
Smart Board Resources K-5
A set of Smart Board Resources for Number Talks that is ready-to-use for grades K-5.
Document: Number Talks—Kindergarten
Based on the book Number Talks by Sherry Parrish, this document from shares an overview of Number Talks before launching into lists of strings for a variety of computational strategies and models appropriate for kindergarten.
Document: Number Talks—First Grade
Based on the book Number Talks by Sherry Parrish, this document from shares an overview of Number Talks before launching into lists of strings for a variety of computational strategies and models appropriate for first grade.
Document: Number Talks—Second Grade
Based on the book Number Talks by Sherry Parrish, this document from shares an overview of Number Talks before launching into lists of strings for a variety of computational strategies and models appropriate for second grade.
Presentation: Intermediate Level Number Talks
Henry County Schools in Georgia make available a series presentation for intermediate teachers to use with Number Talks, along with a suggested order for presenting.
Document: Number Talks—Grades 3-5
Based on the book Number Talks by Sherry Parrish, this document from shares an overview of Number Talks before launching into lists of strings for a variety of computational strategies and models appropriate for grades 3-5.
Middle School Number Talks
This site, hosted by middle school teacher Fawn Nguyen, shares Number Talks used with middle school students, along with examples of student responses and a page with suggestions for giving Number Talks in the middle school classroom.
Research Paper: Impact of Number Talks on Mental Math Computation Abilities
If seeking research to support the use of Number Talks in elementary classrooms, this masters research paper describes the effects of Number Talks on fourth grade students’ mental math computation abilities.
Research Paper: Impact of Number Talks on Number Sense
Conducted as a masters project in Eastern Washington, this paper outlines the impact of Number Talks on first grade students’ number sense.
Article: Building Facility with Numbers: Grade-Level-Appropriate Expectations for Mental Computation (G3-5)
An article emphasizing the importance of having a variety of strategies to be fluent with mental computation.
Number Talks Webinar
A 42 minute webinar from Georgia K-5 Mathematics Support gives an introduction to Number Talks geared toward K-HS teachers.