Everyone’s doing the Number Talk!!

While we have been working in Unit 3 with multiplication and division, our Number Talks is still growing. We started with dots and some arrays, and we moved into basic fact multiplication (2 X 14). The students were pretty ‘jolly on the spot’ and quickly attached themselves to this new math talking idea. When I ask them to clear the mat (carpet at the front of the room), the quickly jump on board! They love the opportunity to talk!

This particular number talk was moving into addition and subtraction, my first moving away from visual dots. I selected this path for a few reasons. First, it was the next piece of the suggested string. Second, the children were asking when we were going to do more “harder” talks. (They enjoy hearing their voices and testing me as I scribe their words.) This seemed like a great line of progression especially since they truly struggled adding and subtracting.

The Number Talk went very well. I have one particular young lady that is so selective in her narration of our discussion, that I was excited she raised her hand to defend this answer. Our talk for that session was 49 + 8 and 49 + 17. This young lady surprised me with the thinking she was using. In fact, I had several that did. I was surprised at the way she broke apart the number 49 to add it up “easier.” Another young man borrowed a 1 from “no where” and then “took it back.”

While I wasn’t really frustrated doing this number talk, I only wish there was more time to do them. I am still learning as well. I learned some new ways of thinking and processing the information too! I love that their way of thinking, opens a new light for my thinking as growing up I learned “this is the way to do this math.”  Learning new ways/ideas to help another who may not ‘get it’ is truly important to me! I know I have some way to go, but I felt  comfortable in scribing their thoughts. When others were invited to share someone’s idea/thinking, they could follow my notes to assist with the retelling!

I hope to gain the skill to inquire deeper and ask stronger ‘thinking” ways to ask them questions and “exercising their brains” to experience even more of their thinking and they way they see things. This is most exciting…and I love watching them excited about math! https://youtu.be/Oa-Xl_mJTMA



In Graham Fletcher’s video, he mentioned a few things that struck home for me. To name a few, how we need to be able to draw the picture to understand and another was to be vulnerable. That struck a note with me and blogging.

I consider myself a simple kind of girl, a West Texas hometown kinda girl, and a “layman” type. I am not huge on throwing out monumental vocabulary. I just say it…

Therefore, it is challenging for me to begin blogging as I don’t want to appear the “dumbest “(Graham Fletcher). It was warming to hear him put that out there in his talk. So reluctantly, I have sat down to respond. With that reluctance, someone in the hospital that I had to attend to, as well as the start of new year … I am now tardy with this assignment. So here goes…one of my intimidations, appearing the dumbest!

While I believe there are no dumb individuals, the children just may not have the picture.  Geometry could be a bit challenging…if you are not a 3D kind of person. In college I needed help with geometry. During a tutoring session, my friend questioned, “You are not very 3D minded are you?” Never thinking that could be my problem, I began looking around. During bowling league, I began testing the “visual” pieces to grabbing spares. It seem to be working. I was getting the hang of it… (bowling is easier than a game of pool)

Guiding instruction with 4th graders has changed over the past 19 years. But I feel the importance of that visual understanding of Geometry has become more imperative. I think children have need to “walk the walk and talk the talk” when it comes to 4.6AB Geometry and Measurement. To identify the intersections with in their neighborhoods with the vocabulary is critical. Using a map of their neighborhoods, they can identify all sorts of line and connections to those angels. They are everywhere in their real world… home, school, parks, playgrounds, WalMart’s, HEBs….it just takes some “real life” ventures to construct and establish understanding. (Heck we even associate angles with guided instructions using our Chromebooks.)


I am surprised that student understanding is not greater than the STAAR results revealed. STAAR performance report backs up my thinking. According to one report, forty-seven percent of 4th grade students scored mastery. I believe that having involvement with real world examples will solidify understanding of the points. lines, etc. It worth the effort! (Also applies to measurement…hands on experiences are essential.)

Math Rocks!

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Having been self-contained for the past 16 years, things changed last year. In the past, most all the children would introduce themselves AFTER stating they “not good writers.” This past year, that looked different. While I truly enjoy all the subjects, last year we became departmentalized and I was given math, science, social studies. So many children last August stated, “I am not good in math!” I was totally caught off guard and shocked. I began searching for ways to reduce their anxieties and instill the joy of math.

I follow @bstockus on Twitter where he suggested I consider Math Rocks. I completed the application and was excited when I received the acceptance email. In our first meeting, we watched several videos in which I selected two words to incorporate into my class this year. Discovery and Joy! I want my children to experience joy in math as they discover math in their everyday world. I hope to share a newfound excitement for math. Growing and collaborating with these teachers, will only enhance the work. Together we will all discover and experience new joys in math.

I am excited to experience these new avenues with this amazing group of teachers, an amazing group who share so much to the children.