TALKING to support math- with number talks

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Objective

SWBAT participate in conversations, follow directions and use manipulatives, to come to conclusions about math.

Big Idea

Talk them into it... let them talk their way through it... they will learn it (and learn it well)!

Why this Lesson?

1 minutes

What better way to involve our kids in math than to allow them to TALK their way through it while listening for directions?  They practice following directions and responding appropriately, while also working on expressing their thoughts and letting someone know if they need support or have a question.  In the end, this important practice can help the kids become better mathematicians while strengthening their speaking and listening skills at the same time!

Speaking and listening standards are a huge shift for all of us who have adopted CCSS. 
Now, we have to make sure our students are speaking, listening and following rules for conversation in measurable ways!  Since this can be hard to focus on independently, I like to include my speaking and listening standards throughout the day in my core lessons, like math. 

Math is a place where students tend to look or listen... so it is here where I really like to push them to follow directions (by listening) and to state what they are doing (by speaking) and hit those standards as well!

In addition, reading and math often are intertwined within kindergarten!  Since students will have to work on reading word problems in math, we really need to teach them that reading and math go hand in hand with each other.  Speaking and listening skills are present here to support that connection and to help students explain it!  In the end, students will be making all sorts of connections across the curriculum that will help deepen their understanding!

A great resource to support this lesson is this book with practice that includes reading, skills work and answering the math questions based on the reading.  It's always good to have students read short word problems and then solve them, using their words and their math strategies.  That type of practice is what this lesson was created to encourage!

Here is a little bit about why I love helping my students so they can begin making connections between listening, following directions, expressing your ideas... and then connecting it all to math.

Introducing Number Talks

15 minutes

Number talks are a chance for students to gain foundational, conceptual understanding of number sense.  The best way to do this is to allow students to really talk their way through their learning.  When our students listen, follow directions, respond and talk their way through their thinking, they are really able to show what they know!

"Today, we are going to work on our first special math conversation; we are going to have a "Number Talk!"  A number talk is when we learn a whole lot about one number, making sure that we listen, follow directions and talk about it the whole way through.  We are going to learn how to count a number, how to see it, how to make it and how to take it apart.  When we are done, we will talk about that number and everything we know is true about that number.  We will end up learning a whole lot about our number of the day with our number talks!  The most important thing to remember is that it's a number TALK!  Listen and talk your way through this process with me!"

"Before we get started, let's all move around the edges of the carpet.  That way, we can put our mats in the middle and everyone will be able to see mine!  Once you move, I will pass out the materials." (I give students a moment to move to a space where they are spread out and can see.)
Here is what we will need for our number talks:  We will need a 10 frame to use for our counting, we will need a number line to find our number, and we will need some manipulatives to help us count!  So, let me pass out these materials now.  When you get them, feel free to explore them; please remember these are not toys because they are learning tools." (I give students a minute or two to check out their materials and to get them organized in their own space.)

Once all students are in their spots with their materials, I set mine up and ask them to make sure their materials are available and viewable like mine.  Then, we get started!

Below are some examples for some number talk ideas for numbers 1, 8 and 5
(as they are all very different from each other).

1- This is the first number talk lesson I do with my kids! PAY ATTENTION TO ALL OF THE TALKING I AM DOING AND ALL OF THE LISTENING AND RESPONDING THEY ARE DOING- THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF THIS LESSON!

"Today, we are going to be working with the number 1.  Everyone, what is our number for today?"
(Students should say,"Our number is 1!")
"Yes, our number is 1.  The first thing we need to do is find the number 1 on the number line.  Once you have found it, place a manipulative on number 1 so I can see that you have the correct number." 
(I give students about 5 seconds to find their number.)
"Now, looking at your number line, who can tell me something about 1? Tell a partner!"
I model here, since this is the initial number talk lesson.  I want to make sure students have a good example of all of the ideas that can be used here!  These are the facts that I point out:  one is the first number, it is the smallest number on the number line, it is smaller than 2 and it is odd.
"Do you see how many facts we can discover about the number 1, just by looking at it on a number line?  Wow!  Now let's see what we can learn about finding the number 1 on a 10 frame.  Please create the number 1 on your 10 frame."
(I give students about 5 seconds to create 1.)
"It looks like everyone has 1.  Now, look at your 10 frame.  What can you see?  Tell a partner."
Again, I model here since this is the first number talk lesson.  I can see 1 only takes up 1 box on a 10 frame.  That means 9 boxes are empty... so, I would need 9 more to make 10.  1 is 9 less than 10.  Wow.  I also see that if I already have 1, I don't need any more to make 1.  Do you see those things?"  (wait time)  "Great!  Now, looking at your own number line and 10 frame, please tell a partner one fact that you know is true about the number 1."
At this time, I walk around to monitor conversations.  I add ideas and re-direct where needed.  I really encourage students to look at their mats to use their manipulatives for ideas. 
After this, I have students help provide me with facts about the number 1 and we make a reference chart to hang up in our room!  I let students share ideas with each other, with me and with the whole class.  I also have students read over the reference chart with me to practice their reading and speaking skills!

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8- This is a great example of what the kids can do by themselves after the initial practice.  This is a completely different experience than 1 because the kids can see these things for themselves!

"Today, we are going to be working with the number 8.  Everyone, what is our number for today?"
(Students should say,"Our number is 8!")
"Yes, our number is 8.  The first thing we need to do is find the number 8 on the number line.  Once you have found it, place a manipulative on number 8 so I can see that you have the correct number." 
(I give students about 5 seconds to find their number.)
"Now, looking at your number line, who can tell me something about 8? Tell a partner! (wait time)  Now, who can tell me a fact that you see about the number 8?"
Good responses include: 8 is less than 10, it is between 7 and 9, it is larger than 5, is is even.
"Great work discovering facts about the number 8 on your number line?  Wow!  Now let's see what we can learn about finding the number 8 on a 10 frame.  Please create the number 8 on your 10 frame."
(I give students about 10 seconds to create 8.)
"It looks like everyone has 8.  Now, look at your 10 frame.  What can you see?  Tell a partner.  Now, who can see some different facts about 8 using the 10 frame?"  (wait time)
Good responses include: 8 is 5 and 3 more, 8 is 2 less than 10, if I have 2 more it will make 10, if I take away 5 of them I will have 3, it is not a full frame, I can count by 2's to get there.
"Great!  Now, looking at your own number line and 10 frame, please tell a partner one fact that you know is true about the number 8."
At this time, I walk around to monitor conversations.  I add ideas and re-direct where needed.  I really encourage students to look at their mats to use their manipulatives for ideas. 
After this, I have students help provide me with facts about the number 8 and we make a reference chart to hang up in our room! I let students share ideas with each other, with me and with the whole class.  I also have students read over the reference chart with me to practice their reading and speaking skills!

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5- "Today, we are going to be working with the number 5.  Everyone, what is our number for today?"
(Students should say,"Our number is 5!")
"Yes, our number is 5.  The first thing we need to do is find the number 5 on the number line.  Once you have found it, place a manipulative on number 5 so I can see that you have the correct number." 
(I give students about 5 seconds to find their number.)
"Now, looking at your number line, who can tell me something about 5? Tell a partner! (wait time)  Now, who can tell me a fact that you see about the number 5?"
Good responses include: 5 is half way to 10, it is larger than 4, it is smaller than 8, it is between 4 and 5, it is odd.
"Great work discovering facts about the number 5 on your number line?  Wow!  Now let's see what we can learn about finding the number 5 on a 10 frame.  Please create the number 5 on your 10 frame."
(I give students about 10 seconds to create 5.)
"It looks like everyone has 5.  Now, look at your 10 frame.  What can you see?  Tell a partner.  Now, who can see some different facts about 5 using the 10 frame?"  (wait time)
Good responses include: 5 is when one row is full, it is half of a 10 frame, it is 1 of 4 rows in 20, it has more boxes filled than 3, if you go up one more you will be on the second row.
"Great!  Now, looking at your own number line and 10 frame, please tell a partner one fact that you know is true about the number 5."
At this time, I walk around to monitor conversations.  I add ideas and re-direct where needed.  I really encourage students to look at their mats to use their manipulatives for ideas. 
After this, I have students help provide me with facts about the number 5 and we make a reference chart to hang up in our room! I let students share ideas with each other, with me and with the whole class.  I also have students read over the reference chart with me to practice their reading and speaking skills!

 

 

Daily Practice

8 minutes

Every day, I like to make the connection between math and speaking and listening.  It is important that students listen, learn and talk their way through their math in order to develop a conceptual understanding of how it words.  Oral language can serve as the basis for explaining math to kids, so we need to play into that and help our students do that as well!

When kids are taught to talk through their problems, they are more likely to attempt to solve them.  Since we want our kids to be confident with math, as well as other skills, we need to be sure to tell them that it's alright to ask questions, say what you don't understand and talk through your learning to support yourself.

Each day, I like to make sure to make time for this piece of our math block.  It starts us off with so much engagement and relays to students that I expect them to ALWAYS be speaking and listening, throughout all of the subjects!  When I do this, students are more apt to focus, follow directions and ask questions of themselves, as well as others, when working! 

Each day, the more the students talk, the more speaking and listening (and oral language) skills they are building!  Also, the more students explain their thinking and talk through numbers, the more concrete these numbers will become.  When students are able to listen for and talk about math skills, they take them in and own them for themselves.  There are so many ways to push kids to talk here and the options for lessons like this are endless!

Assessing this Task

8 minutes

The way I informally assess students' mastery of this activity is by looking at their mats and asking the following questions about each student:
1- Are they listening and following my directions, using the correct numbers?
2- Are the using their number line correctly?
3- Are they talking their way through their work with their partner(s)?
4- Are they able to share their thinking with me?

In the end, as long as I look around at students' work throughout this activity, I can generally see who is mastering conversation about and understanding of the number of the day!  Listening to students here really helps me see who may need re-teaching or support.