### This Math Was Made for Talking: Targeting Math Discussions

As a visiting teacher, I love to ask students what they
think a “number talk” might be. It’s usually silent at first, and then a brave
soul will say something like, “Is it when you talk…about numbers?” Their faces
light up when that profound idea is confirmed. I have been in countless elementary
and middle school classrooms in the last few years both observing and
facilitating Number Talks (Sherry Parrish, 2010), and I am part of an amazing
team that has trained over 1,000 teachers on their implementation since 2013. Number
talks are changing how teachers and students interact with mathematics by opening
up the discourse in the classroom to more than just a volley between teacher,
student, teacher, student. They invite students to construct and consider
multiple strategies for a single problem or string of related problems, and
serve as formative assessment for teachers who want to know how their students
are thinking about a problem. While these “open strategy sharing” conversations…