Number talks are a wonderful and purposeful mathematical activity that should be done whole group with your class. It only takes 5-10 minutes. Number talks are beneficial in helping students become more fluent at working with numbers. It also increases their number sense.
How to Have a Number Talk:
Present only the picture sheet of the groups of items. Ask students how many items they see. Encourage them to think of a quick way to count the items, instead of just counting each item one by one.
Your only job is to facilitate and record. Get about 5 answers and write them down in a place where the entire class can see what you are doing. Make sure to ask each student to explain how they came up with their answer. Repeat what they have said to you.
The key is to engage your class in a math discussion. If a student has given the wrong answer, allow them to correct their mistakes. See if other students can spot how to correct the mistakes.
Students will be able to see other students’ thinking process in addition to learning to verbalize their own. Then they will be ready to write it that process, as well as another way they didn’t think of. After the discussion, allow the students to record their process.