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Making Number Talks Matter
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About the Author

Cathy Humphreys is currently a doctoral student at Stanford University, where she studies mathematics teaching and learning. She has taught grades 2-12 in the California public schools for thirty years, has worked as an instructor for the Mathematics Education Collaborative and for Math Solutions, and has served as a mathematics coach for the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative. She is thecoauthor, with Jo Boaler, ofConnecting Mathematical Ideas (Heinemann, 2005).

Ruth Parker is a former classroom teacher and has spent over 20 years leading professional development for math teachers in grades K-12. She is currently the CEO of the Mathematics Education Collaborative, preparing the next generation of mathematics teacher leaders for Washington state.She received her master's degree and her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. "Nothing is more satisfying than watching my students develop a sense of agency, a curiosity about new mathematical ideas, and an awareness that they have mathematical ideas worth sharing," Ruth says of her love of teaching.Ruth loves to hike, especially in the Pacific Northwest, and playing with her grandchildren.

Reviews

This book offers practical advice for teachers using number talks in the classroom, whether new to the strategy or looking to refine their practice. Authors Humphreys and Parker begin by explaining the purpose of number talks and offering easy-to-follow steps for establishing a classroom routine. Teachers who might be hesitant to try number talks with their students will benefit from the eight basic steps that the authors outline for getting started. Humphreys and Parker offer tips on how to phrase and present problems to students as well as question frames and sentence starters to lead students through the process. Specific teacher moves are also described to encourage student talk over teacher talk and engage students in the process. Individual chapters are dedicated to each of the operations (addition, subtraction, mul- tiplication, and division) as well as one with a focus on fractions, decimals, and percentages. Sample problems and classroom vignettes are included within these chapters. Strategies specific to each operation are presented along with tips on how to word problems to encourage the use of each strategy rather than a standard algorithm. The authors also provide samples for use at a variety of grade levels and ideas on how to take a number talk to the next level with small-group and individual applications. A chapter devoted to common issues and suggested solutions will be a useful tool for classroom teachers. I recommend this book to classroom teachers and instructional leaders at the upper elementary and secondary levels.--Sarah Wargaski, Woodstock Community School District, Illinois.

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