Thursday, September 26, 2013

Terrific Thinking Thursday

Our school is using Number Talks for math to boost our students' number sense, working understanding of mathematical concepts and critical thinking.  The philosophy behind Number Talks aligns perfectly with Investigations, which we are using as a tool to guide our standards-based instruction and assessment.  Through hands-on learning and discourse, our students are learning how to interact with math rather than memorize and regurgitate information.

Our grade level has tweaked our number talks:

Monday: This is our traditional number talk.  A problem is displayed on the board, students solve mentally then raise their hands to share their answers.  Emphasis is given to strategies and explaining their thinking.

Tuesday: Ten minute math from Investigations.  We are starting with quick images where students are looking for patterns, which is supporting the 8 math practices.

Wednesday: Word problem Wednesdays.  We are moving away from the traditional circling of the number and choosing an operation robotic routine.  Instead, we are focusing on criticial thinking and strategies.

Thursday: Terrific Thinking Thursdays!  We display a deceptively simple problem and let students solve individually before sharing out whole group.  

Fridays: Fast Facts Fridays.  Students are working on their individual goals for fact fluency (multiplication and division) in a fun, game-like way with their shoulder or face partner.

Since it's Thursday, here is an example of today's problem:

The problem states "You have $2.75.  What coins could make this amount?"

None of my students gave me an answer invoving dollar bills.  There were actually more answers they came up with later and I was impressed they used half dollar coins in their answers.  Not bad for eight am :)

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