Number Talks Workgroup – January Recap

Our January session focused on what should happen between now and next fall for schools that want to expand the number of teachers using number talks as a regular practice or support an initial cohort of teachers willing to make that happen. Here’s where we landed:

Spring 2019

  • Introduce number talks in an in-school PD session for teachers new to the practice
    • Understand how teachers think about Number Talks
    • What are their goals for math lessons?
    • Where do they hope the practice might bring?
    • What do they fear might happen during number talks?
    • What do they value most in their current approach to teaching math?
    • What do they think is least effective in their current approach to teaching math?
  • Have a teacher or coach that is comfortable with Number Talks lead a session for the class of a teacher new to the practice
  • Have teachers try out the practice in their room with a coach or experienced teacher on hand to provide feedback
  • Participate in UWM’s Math Circle for Teachers
  • Line up funding for resources, PD
  • Identify teachers for pilot effort– the goal here is to require participation, but identify teachers who want to kick of the 2019-2020 school year with Number Talks as a regular practice.

Summer 2019

  • Script the first 20 days of number talks so that teachers new to the practice can focus on leading the practice rather than figuring out what problems to use.  Here teachers can tap into the work Brown Street Academy and LaCausa did to kick things off this year.
  • Assemble resources for teachers participating in effort
    • Reference materials
    • Anchor charts
    • Number Talks quick reference card
  • Number Talks PD just prior to the start of school
    • Teachers have a chance to both lead and participate in number talks
    • Teachers have a chance to practice charting student thinking
    • Teachers get a chance to preview strategies they are likely to see in their first 20 days of number talks

Fall 2019

  • Teachers use Number Talks 2-3 times per week starting the first week of the semester
  • Quick, frequent check-ins with in-school coach or teacher lead to address issues and concerns
  • Work with grade level groups to select problems focused on specific strategies to guide problem selection after the first 20 days of Number Talks
  • Participate in peer led PD with other teachers working with Number Talks

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