Number sense is the foundation for all higher-level mathematics (Feikes & Schwingendorf, 2008). But when students focus on just memorizing facts they often do so without number sense, which means they are very limited in what they can do and are prone to making errors (Boaler, 2015). The more we emphasize memorization to students the less willing they become to think about numbers and their relationship in the development of number sense (Boaler, 2009). Instead of rote memorization, Number Talks can be utilized in the math classroom to build number sense and computational fluency.
What is a Number Talk?
A Number Talk is a short, ongoing daily routine that provides students with meaningful ongoing practice with computation. A Number Talk is a powerful tool for helping students develop computational fluency because the expectation is that they will use number relationships and the structures of numbers to add, subtract, multiply and divide (Richardson, 2007).
Want to find out more about Number Talks? Check out these resources:
- Fluency without Fear by Jo Boaler, Stanford University
- Number Talks by Kathy Richardson
Books in the T-TAC ODU Library
-Making Number Talks Matter: Developing Mathematical Practices and Deepening Understanding, Grades 4-10 by Cathy Humphreys & Ruth Parker
-Understanding, Grades 4-10 by Cathy Humphreys & Ruth Parker
Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies, Grades K-5 by Sherry Parrish
-Young Mathematicians at Work: Constructing Number Sense, Addition and Subtraction by Catherine Fosnot
Boaler, J. (2016, September 27). Fluency Without Fear: Research Evidence on the Best Ways to Learn Math Facts. Retrieved from www.youcubed.org: https://www.youcubed.org/fluency-without-fear/
Feikes, D. S. (2008). The Importance of Compression in Children’s Learning of Mathematics and Teacher’s Learning to Teach Mathematics. Mediterranean Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.
Richardson, K. (2016, September 27). Number Talks. Retrieved from www.mathperspectives.com: http://www.mathperspectives.com/pdf_docs/number_talks.pdf