Saturday, August 17, 2013

Before Number Talks!

Hey Kinder Friends,
You asked for it so here you go. You wondered if Number Talks could be started the very first week of school and the answer is yes. Maybe not the first day but when things settle down a bit... So where do you start and what do you do? The good news is that there is not exact right answer here so you can make it your own. I have thought about it long and hard and finally decided just how I am going to start.
I wanted to start with a book for my first Number Talk. And I thought I was going to spend some time searching high and low for the perfect book and it was handed to me. Once I looked inside I realized I had a connection to the book and it would give me a great opportunity to begin my Number Talks. Just like the character in the book, as a child I counted everything. I counted every place I went. I still do it at times. I picked this book because it conveyed a love of numbers and it was also a book that I could see I could revisit when I was talking to the children about numbers and real world connections and I noticed a page I could use to talk about counting strategies. Considering there were at least 3 or 4 different teaching points or examples I could pull from just this simple book, I decided to start with Christopher Counting.
Last year I jumped in and started a little too fast. This year I am starting from the beginning and taking it nice and slow. I want a deeper understanding and development over time and not quick results. I am starting with my goals set and a plan in mind. So we are taking it slow. So, this is not an official step or Number Talk but rather setting the stage. I will do the talking and I am sure they will chime in and that is ok.
I guess you could say this will serve as the beginning of "building a mathematical community" but before we dive right on in to that we are going to experience the book and have the opportunity to hear what we all think about numbers. In the process we will get to know a little about each other.
Taking it slow will also give me the chance to test out a few things before we formally begin. I want to make sure that I have planned for enough space. I want to make sure that I have the materials that I need in the right place and everyone can see and participate. I learned through my first experience that you can plan for kids before they come but you have to adjust when they come. And while we are working this all out I will be reading and preparing for the next steps. When you break it down into small manageable chunks it doesn't seem so hard does it? So look around and find the book that speaks to you and conveys your message and consider starting Number Talks right along with me.

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