Using Math Talks and Number Strings in Instruction

Here are some things to take into consideration when choosing a Number String or Math Talk.

  • If your goal is to find a variety of strategies to compare or make connections with, then a Math Talk would be the appropriate choice.
  • If your goal is focused on a particular strategy, big idea in mathematics, or model, then a Number String would be the best choice.
  • Number Strings are organized by strategy, and within each strategy there are different models.

Think about the model you choose to use in Number Strings. A Number Path promotes counting, and a Rekenrek helps students to see relationships.

Choose Number Strings based on your class needs or your target goal. Is your goal for students to use a counting strategy or is it to see relationships between numbers? For example, Counting On is a counting strategy, and Using Doubles is an additive strategy (a strategy that promotes thinking about the numbers in parts and wholes). The numbers used in the Number Strings become increasingly more difficult within the strategy, and this is also true for the Math Talks within an operation.


Daily Math Fluency

Daily Math Fluency is your year-long, ready-made solution for developing efficiency, flexibility, and accuracy in your students’ grasp of basic math facts in less than 10 minutes a day.

  • 120 Number Strings teach appropriate strategies through repeated practice.
  • 60 Math Talks promote active participation to assess student thinking.
  • Hands-on Manipulatives model thinking to help develop efficiency and accuracy.