Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Guest Blog: Number Talks in a 3rd Grade Classroom

Magen Schott, 3rd grade teacher at Knowles Elementary, is our guest blogger this week! She has been using number talks with her students, so we asked her if she would share her thoughts on the topic. Thank you Magen, for sharing your learning and inspiring others through your experiences.

"Since beginning Number Talks in my classroom, my kids are able to have great conversations about their mental computations. It's easy to have a conversation in Language Arts class about the main idea of the book, the author's purpose, etc.  Before reading Number Talks, we never had REAL conversations in Math about numbers.  It has been amazing to listen to my kids discuss numbers in this way.  Students have learned to reason with numbers, and their mental math ability has greatly increased.  Our classroom is a "safe" place for the kids to be wrong, and they are open to admitting their mistakes.  They all learn from each other, and most have begun to try out and adopt different strategies that others are using.  I feel that they think about numbers differently now-- that numbers can be taken apart and combined with other numbers to make new numbers.  They have great conversations about manipulating numbers to make the problem easier and organizing numbers into groups of thousands, hundreds, tens and ones."

Below is a impromptu video recorded during a recent school improvement visit.  Watch Magen's class in action!

Comment below how you use number talks in your classroom...


  1. May I just say how much I love to see this emphasis on manipulating and making sense of numbers by using "Number Talks" at the elementary level. I first saw this tool being used at PHE when I was a WatchDOG one day, and brought the concept to the middle school to use with struggling 6th graders. LOVE IT!!! Thanks for all you math teachers are doing!!

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