Grad School Chronicles: Week 15

Week 15 brought a professional development training that was 100% dedicated to number talks.  I wish number talks existed when I was in elementary school.  I have a feeling I wouldn't dislike math nearly as much if I had been expose to the subject in a way that left me feeling comfortable to make mistakes while learning.  If you are unfamiliar with the concept of number talks, you can pick up the Number Talks book over on Amazon.

For kindergarten, number talks typically start off with simple little dot cards.  They look a little something like this...

Briefly show the class (as a whole group) one card, place it in your lap upside down after the brief showing, and ask children to make a hand signal when they are ready to share A) how many dots they saw and B) how they saw the dots.  It's so interesting to hear how children see groupings of items.  They may see two here and three there, when I see a completely different total number of dots in all AND noticed the dots in a pattern a completely different pattern.  There is so much more to it than what I have explained here in this little weekly update.  If you are looking for a way to work mental math strategies into your math block, be sure to pick up a copy of Number Talks by Sherry Parrish.

The idea is to build mental math strategies.  I see this as not only a way to build number sense, but it also builds confidence within the classroom community.  It's pretty cool.

What are my thoughts for the week?

  1. I love the concept of number talks and can't WAIT to learn more about them.
  2. I really enjoy working at this particular elementary school and will be sad to say goodbye when my practicum is over in December.
  3. I feel extremely anxious about my first observation.  It takes place Monday afternoon. 


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