Number Talks and Making Math Relevant
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# Number Talks and Making Math Relevant

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## Making Math Relevant and Engaging

I noticed a theme while observing an educational math chat on Twitter.  Many of the participants spoke of how math and reading don't necessarily have the same "emotional knee-jerk reaction" in educ...
Danielle Johnson's insight:

Here is a great article that talks about the importance of making math relevant and engaging and explains ways in which you can do this in your own classroom. The author of this article describes a relevant and engaging classroom as one that uses manipulatives, technology, practical examples, and games. When teaching math to my students, I want to make it as fun as possible. We play a lot of games and use manipulatives, but the missing piece that is so important is making the learning relevant. We can play games all day, every day, but I see the most learning occuring outside the classroom environment. The only way we can fix this is by creating a real-world environment inside our classroom as well.

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## Number Talks

Nicki Newton is using Pinterest, an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you.
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Pinterest is another resource that I have been using to collect a lot of great ideas for what Number Talks should look like in your own classroom. You can follow the Number Talks board on Pinterest to review articles, videos, pictures, and ideas. In my mentors classroom, Number Talks is done once or twice a week and involves the students sitting on the carpet and the teacher writing one problem on the board that the students solve mentally then discuss the different strategies for how they solved it. My mentor writes every answer and strategy (right or wrong) down and lets each student explain it. There is never a time when the teacher says whether the student is correct or not, instead they figure it out together as a class through discussion. I love this part of the day and since it only takes 10 minutes and really is so beneficial for the students, I plan on implementing it every day starting in January.

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## Twitter / Search - #numbertalks

The latest and best tweets on #realmath. Read what people are saying and join the conversation.
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Follow #NumberTalks for great conversation and valuable ideas about Number Talks and implementing them into your own classroom!

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## Mathematics Education: A Way Forward

David Wees provides learning support for technology at a high school in Vancouver BC, and is also the facilitator of Edutopia's Assessment group.
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This blog post shares the harsh reality of mathematical teaching that I believe every teacher needs to be educated on. The author proposes a new structure for constructing mathematics curriculum which is centered around the "real world" in order to ensure that it is relevant. The author then goes onto share simple ideas for making mathematics relevant (which I love) and lists resources for boosting engagement!

Many of the implementation plans he discusses are very reasonable and go a long way. Opportunities for making math relevant are all around us, we just need to step out of the box and take advantage of them. The real-world implementations I have seen thus far have been extremely beneficial for my students and this is something I plan to implement much more often as I begin the takeover process.

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## Table for 22: A Real-World Geometry Project

Here's a great lesson for teaching Geometry. Using students knowledge of area and perimeter, this lesson covers both the practice standard and content standard of the Common Core Standards for Math.
Danielle Johnson's insight:

This is a video from TeachingChannel.org that illustrates the connection between the real-world and geometry. For this activity the students have to use their knowledge of area and perimeter to create a table for Thanksgiving dinner that allows all 22 students to sit together. It is a great representation of how math can be relevant both inside and outside of the classroom.It is also a great hands-on activity that allows students to make connections to math without even knowing it. I love this lesson because for this video, it is done in a 6th grade classroom, but its use of relevance and hands-on learning make it applicable to multiple age levels. I would love to try this with my second graders and see what they can come up with.

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## Number Talks

Addition and Subtraction Strategies Combined K-2 Combined 3-5 Ideas for Number Talks NumberTalks Article S.Parrish Quick Image 100 ten frames
Danielle Johnson's insight:

Here is a great resource for learning all about Number Talks. If you have never heard of Number Talks or have never implemented them in the classroom, this is the resource for you! The website is broken into different sections: Addition and Subtraction Strategies, Combined K-2 Techniques, Combined 3-5 Techniques, Ideas for Number Talks, and a great Number Talks Article by S. Parrish. This resource has everything you need to know to conduct a well orchestrated Number Talks community.

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## Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover | Video on TED.com

Today's math curriculum is teaching students to expect -- and excel at -- paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them.
Danielle Johnson's insight:

If only everyone could watch this video! During this Ted Talks, Dan Meyer explains his reasoning for why math needs a makeover and I couldn't agree more. He explains that math needs to be connected to the real-world in order to level the playing field and allow every student to join in on the conversation. In my mentors classroom, we have so many students who truly believe they are "bad" at math and give up before they can even begin to try because they expect failure. By making the connection to the real-world, we are giving every one of our students a voice and allowing them to participate without even realizing that they are engaging in mathematics. Dan Meyer states that we must use multimedia, encourage student intuition, ask the shortest questions possible, let the students build the problems, and be less helpful in order to benefit our students and allow them to use math to make sense of the world.

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## Math Perspectives - Intervention

Danielle Johnson's insight:

This is a great resource for anyone who is just getting started with Number Talks. This website explains what a Number Talk is, the history of Number Talks, the distinctions between a Number Talks and a lesson, and tips for implementing Number Talks in primary and intermediate grades. It also shares a video of the implementation of Number Talks in a 4th grade classroom. It also shares a list of 26 helpful hints for implementing Number Talks in your own classroom which I have been using as I begin to lead Number Talks in my classroom.

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## Twitter / Search - #realmath

The latest and best tweets on #realmath. Read what people are saying and join the conversation.
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Join the conversation for making math relevant to the real-world on Twitter! Read what others have to say and add your own insight #RealMath

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Danielle Johnson's insight:

Here is an example of a number talk in a 3rd grade classroom. The teacher puts a heavy emphasis on using multiple strategies to come up with the same solution. In my mentor's classroom, I have begun to see number talks develop, but we are still in the beginning phases. Although I have only seen the implementation of a couple, it is clear that they are extremely beneficial for the students, therefore I plan to use these resources as ideas to increase the use of number talks in my own classroom some day.

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## Zero Pairs, Manipulatives, and a Real-World Scenario

Understanding the concept of subtracting integers is difficult for some Math students. Learn a fun lesson plan for integer operations that uses real world scenarios to help students relate.
Danielle Johnson's insight:

Not only can we connect math to real-world scenarios, but we can also use manipulatives. This explains how we can combine the two strategies in order to help our students understand a difficult topic. Using manipulatives is something we do a lot in my classroom, but I think connecting the manipulatives to a relevant scenario would allow for even more motivation, engagement, and understanding within my students.

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