[MTBoS Blaugust] New Teacher Orientation (Day 3)–Number Talks!

Today was day 3 of our New Teacher Orientation Day. I was very glad that we were able to get a second day with just our content because these have been the most helpful days by far. I’m a little tentative about tomorrow because it looks like we’ll be talking about “continuing education” for 3.5 hours, and I sure hope it’s just poorly labeled in the schedule.



Because I’ve been thinking about what to implement in my classroom, all of this sharing and discussion has helped me way more than it would have when I was a first year teacher (think deer in headlights).  What’s cool is our master teachers (@StaceySisler and @fcpswendi) have been sharing tons of stuff that the MTBoS has created! They brought up VisualPatterns, Which One Doesn’t Belong, Desmos Activities, and probably other MTBoS created sites that I can’t remember right now.

But today I want to talk about Math Talks because that’s one of the biggest things I took away from today! I was just reading Sara Vanderwerf’s post about a week ago on number talks and they shared the exact same post for the whole class to see!

Math/Number Talks

Here’s Sara’s challenge from that post.

So here is my challenge to you for the 2016-17 school year in your 6-12 core math classrooms.  Commit to doing at least 30 number talks over the course of the year.  Commit that at least 10 of the 30 will be done 1 per day for a two week time.

I was already planning on starting a warm-up with Visual Patterns and since apparently that counts, I thought of a warm-up structure to introduce our warm-up routine slowly over the first month. Students will get used to a warm-up by doing it repeatedly, and then we’ll add it to the repertoire, and introduce another slowly. Here’s what that looks like:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Visual Patterns Visual Patterns Visual Patterns Visual Patterns Reflect on Week
Visual Patterns Number Talk Number Talk Number Talk Reflect on Week
Visual Patterns Number Talk Estimation 180 Estimation 180 Reflect on Week
Visual Patterns Number Talk Estimation 180 Something… Reflect on Week

This way, students get used to talking about math with friendly diagrams first (www.visualpatterns.org), but they get used to it because it becomes merely a once-a-week routine.

Number talks have a similar structure in so far as there’s the “don’t judge someone’s answer” and “I’m more interested in how you’re thinking than just your answer”. And if you look, I get my 2 weeks straight of “Number talks” checked[1], along with one a week after that!

The reflection questions are copied straight from Fawn’s website, cause they’re awesome:

On Fridays, you will be reflecting on what you learned through the week.

Think back through the warm-ups. Was there something you wanted to share that you didn’t get to share? Did someone say something that was new to you or that you really liked?

Also tell me how math was this week for you. Do you feel you have a good grasp on what we’re doing? Why or why not?

You have 5 minutes to write. So, write. Keep that pencil moving the whole time.

I also really loved doing estimation 180, though this year I want to start of that with my height rather than Andrew Stadel’s, along with some estimations of my family, etc. It should be a great way for the students to “peek” into my life and get to know me better after a few weeks.

One challenge for me will be continuing to find number talks that are connected (even vaguely) to the curriculum. I know that they don’t have to be, but I would like for them to be connected to something we’re doing throughout the year, even it’s long-term review or a sneak-peek at something we’ll do a long time from now.

[1] The end of week reflections are them thinking about the number talks, so that counts!



Filed under Teaching

2 responses to “[MTBoS Blaugust] New Teacher Orientation (Day 3)–Number Talks!

  1. Love that you accepted the challenge! Have a great start to your school year!

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