What are Math Talks

A Math Talk is a 10-minute activity designed to elicit multiple strategies and provide opportunities for students to reason about the relationships in the numbers and make connections in mathematics.

  • Prepare an area to conduct the Math Talk by gathering students in an area where the whole class meets. This can be the students sitting on a rug or in chairs situated where everyone can see each other and the board you use to pose the problem and represent their thinking.
  • Start the Math Talk:
    • Pose the problem provided on the Math Talk to the class. You may pose a problem by displaying a Picture Card, Dot Card or writing the problem on the board (determined by the Math Talk).
  • Establish classroom norms for Math Talks:
    • Explain to students that they are expected to use what they know to solve the problem.
    • Establish a discrete signal students should use to let you know that they have an answer to the problem.
    • Wait until you notice that most students are ready to provide an answer to the problem, based on the signal that you have established with them.
  • Encourage student strategies:
    • Write down answers students provide. It is important to avoid giving any indication at this point that the answer is correct or incorrect.
    • Strategically choose students to share by asking questions or circulating and finding different strategies. Have students share in an order that the strategies build upon each other or from least efficient to most efficient.
    • Have students explain their strategy to the class.
  • Model student thinking:
    • While students explain their strategy, model it using the manipulative or tool the student says they used to come up with the answer. This could include a Number Path, a Rekenrek, or ten frames.
  • Math discussion:
    • Provide opportunities for students to turn and talk about the strategies that have been modeled.
    • Allow students opportunities to clarify understanding of someone else’s strategy.
    • Help students see their strategy in others and build towards efficiency. Math Talks are designed to elicit multiple strategies, provide opportunities for students to reason about the relationships in the numbers, and make connections in mathematics.

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.