Building math fluency consists of two major components: Number Strings and Math Talks. Each one of these routines can be done each day for 10–15 minutes to enhance the current curriculum and student math fluency. They can be used in whole group and/or small groups as a way to differentiate instruction.
What Are Number Strings?
Number Strings are a series of related problems focused on a particular strategy, big idea in mathematics, and/or a model. They have been purposely designed to help students construct mental strategies and to systematically nudge them toward efficiency. The teacher guides students through a Number String by choosing who shares, asking questions, drawing out relationships from the students’ explanations, and modeling student thinking.
Math Talks are based on one problem that is given to students to compare strategies.They are designed to generate discussions about efficient, clever, and elegant strategies for the given problem and numbers. The teacher allows multiple students to share different ways of solving the problem. Math Talks are less focused on a particular strategy and more focused on choosing a strategy from already constructed strategies.