After going into a few different classrooms and doing a 'Number Talk' with the students a few things are becoming quite clear.
- We have some incredibly smart students in this school!
- Our students have been taught some fantastic strategies to work with numbers.
- All of our students are benefiting from 'Talk Moves'.
There is no question that I am learning just as much or more from working with these classes on 'Number Talks'. This is an amazing thing and each time I listen to a student speak or go into a class, I know that I am slowly getting a better understanding of student mathematical thinking each and every time.
One of the challenges I have faced over the past few days is biting my tongue and not adding to a student's verbal answer or guiding them in a certain direction. This is where the talk move comes in.
Redirect it to another student or ask another student to rephrase what their classmate just said. My favourite may be this one: Do you agree with what _____ just said?
So many times what you wanted to say is said by one of the other students. I think that this is a very powerful thing. For too long educators have been the giver of knowledge. During these discussions, our students have been learning from each other and teaching each other. Powerful stuff!
If you have any experience with number talks let me know about it. I'd love to hear how it is working in your school.
Interested in learning more about 'Talk Moves'? Check out Lucy West. She has some fantastic videos and information on this area.