Making Number Talks Matter: Developing Mathematical Practices and Deepening Understanding, Grades 3-10 (Paperback)
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Making the transition to student-centered learning begins with finding ways to get students to share their thinking, something that can be particularly challenging for some learners. Authors Ruth Parker and Cathy Humphreys introduce Making Number Talks Matter: Developing Mathematical Practices and Deepening Understanding, Grades 3-10, taking the readers into classrooms where their Number Talks routines are taught.
Parker and Humphreys apply their 15 minute lessons to inspire and initiate math talks. Through vignettes in the book, you'll meet other teachers learning how to listen closely to students and how to prompt them into figuring out solutions to problems. You will learn how to make on-the-spot decisions, continually advancing and deepening the conversation. Making Number Talks Matter includes:
- Sample Problems: Making Number Talks Matter is filled with a range of Number Talks problems, 10-15 minute warm-up routines that lend themselves to mental math and comparison of strategies
- Navigating Rough Spots: Learn how to create a safe environment for tricky, problematic, or challenging student discussions that can arise when talking through problems and sharing ideas
- Responding to Mistakes: Ways to handle misconceptions and mathematical errors that come up during the course of Number Talk conversations
Making Number Talks Matter is filled with teaching tips for honoring student contributions while still correcting errors, and teaching concepts while nudging independent thinking. Through daily practice and open conversation, you can build a solid foundation for the study of mathematics and make Number Talks Matter.
About the Author
Cathy Humphreys is currently a doctoral student at Stanford University, where she studies mathematics teaching and learning. She has taught grades 2-12 in the California public schools for thirty years, has worked as an instructor for the Mathematics Education Collaborative and for Math Solutions, and has served as a mathematics coach for the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative. In addition to Making Number Talks Matter (coauthored with Ruth Parker, Stenhouse, 2015), Cathy and Jo Boaler coauthored Connecting Mathematical Ideas (Heinemann 2005).
Ruth Parker is a former classroom teacher and has spent over 20 years leading professional development for math teachers in grades K-12. She is currently the CEO of the Mathematics Education Collaborative, preparing the next generation of mathematics teacher leaders for Washington state.
She received her master's degree and her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. "Nothing is more satisfying than watching my students develop a sense of agency, a curiosity about new mathematical ideas, and an awareness that they have mathematical ideas worth sharing," Ruth says of her love of teaching.
Ruth loves to hike, especially in the Pacific Northwest, and playing with her grandchildren.
This book offers practical advice for teachers using number talks in the classroom, whether new to the strategy or looking to refine their practice. Authors Humphreys and Parker begin by explaining the purpose of number talks and offering easy-to-follow steps for establishing a classroom routine. Teachers who might be hesitant to try number talks with their students will benefit from the eight basic steps that the authors outline for getting started. Humphreys and Parker offer tips on how to phrase and present problems to students as well as question frames and sentence starters to lead students through the process. Specific teacher moves are also described to encourage student talk over teacher talk and engage students in the process. Individual chapters are dedicated to each of the operations (addition, subtraction, mul- tiplication, and division) as well as one with a focus on fractions, decimals, and percentages. Sample problems and classroom vignettes are included within these chapters. Strategies specific to each operation are presented along with tips on how to word problems to encourage the use of each strategy rather than a standard algorithm. The authors also provide samples for use at a variety of grade levels and ideas on how to take a number talk to the next level with small-group and individual applications. A chapter devoted to common issues and suggested solutions will be a useful tool for classroom teachers. I recommend this book to classroom teachers and instructional leaders at the upper elementary and secondary levels.—Sarah Wargaski, Woodstock Community School District, Illinois.