Sunday, October 29, 2017

Halloween Brain Breaks

Halloween is right around the corner! One thing I do to help survive the sugar high craziness is give my kiddos a few minutes in between activities to get their wiggles out. Today, I just want to quickly share with you some of my favorite Halloween brain break videos.You can find them all on YouTube. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 16, 2017

PAPERLESS Number Talks!

A couple of years ago, I started implementing number talks during my guided math block. The results I got from this simple, powerful teaching practice blew me away. My students were engaged in meaningful discussions focused on mental math and computational strategies. Through our daily number talks, they were building number sense and flexibility in number thinking. 

What are Number Talks?
Number Talks are short discussions (5-10 minutes) focused on mental math and computational strategies. They promote the importance of being flexible with numbers and using a variety of strategies for computation. All students are encouraged to share their mathematical thinking during number talk time.

What does a number talk look like?
1. Teacher presents each problem and gives wait time.
2. Students mentally figure out the answer (no paper or pencil) and give a quiet thumbs up to show that they have at least one solution. *Students can put additional fingers up if they have more than one way to solve the problem. For example: Two fingers up means I have two ways to solve the problem.
3. Students share their thinking/teacher records. Incorrect solutions and methods can and should be part of Number Talks.

I personally like to do Number Talks at the beginning of my math block, but it can be done at any time that works best for your schedule. Some days you just have to make it work where you can! 

What are the benefits to doing Number Talks?
*Encourages math communication from all students
*Provides structured practice for mental math
*Promotes the value in using mental math to compute
*Promotes the importance of being flexible with numbers
*Using a variety of strategies for computation
*Builds number sense
*All levels of learners can participate in number talks
*Only takes 5-10 minutes a day-perfect math warm-up

How can I get started?
You can start Number Talks at any time of the year, and I've made it really EASY for you! You can get 40 weeks of PAPERLESS NUMBER TALKS in just one click here!

These Number Talk lessons were designed to engage your learners in meaningful math conversations focused on mental math and computational strategies throughout the year. They make the perfect math warm-up! All you have to do is upload the Number Talk digital slides (PowerPoint)- paperless and no prep! Everything is already done for you! 

Each day of the week has a specific Number Talk activity:

Make it Monday: Students will mentally think of equations that make the number in the circle using the given numbers. 

True or False Tuesday: Students will mentally solve the equations to determine whether they are true of false. (5 equations)

Work it Out Wednesday: Students will mentally solve the equations and share their thinking. (5 equations)

Time to Subitize Thursday: Briefly (5-10 seconds) flash each slide. Students will share what number was shown, as well as, explain their thinking in determining the number. (5 images)

Fact Fun Friday: Students will mentally solve the equations and share their thinking. (5 equations)

The structure of the Number Talk slides is predictable and student friendly! Spend more time talking about math instead of giving directions/expectations. 

Where can I find more information on Number Talks?
I highly recommend reading these books by the Number Talk guru, Sherry Parrish. They are packed full of great information for grades K-5. Click the book images to learn more about them.

Happy Number Talking!