After reading “Making Number Talks Matter” by Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker, I was inspired to build on their discussions of number sense.
**** I strongly recommend the book!
The goal of these activities is to ultimately get students thinking about numbers in more ways than one. When we ask them to find the amount without using pencil and paper, we ask them to find and create patterns. When I say “without counting” I mean that look they get—where they close one eye and squint and point to the numbers as they compute from their seats. Students will start to realize symmetry, groupings, and patterns.
These pages are intended for use with a projector but could be adjusted for small group instruction. The first page is intended for the initial display. Have students mentally solve the problem silently and independently. One students have an answer they can give a signal to show they have a number in mind—how you choose the signal is up to you but a simple thumbs up in front of their chest (so as not to distract or discourage their classmates) would suffice. The second page puts the same problem in the corner but leaves room for notes. Here is where you put student responses in any organized fashion you prefer—the important part here is to make sure you are recording ONLY the answers (keep your poker face!). Once you have student responses, ask students to defend their reasoning or find errors in words while you scribe their thinking on the board. This is a great opportunity for students to see that there is more than one way to approach a problem and come out with an accurate answer. As you progress, it is easy to transfer their thinking into more generalized “rules” in math.
There are 30 Multiplication problems and 30 Division problems.