Thursday, January 19, 2017

Daily Math Talks in Kindergarten

Long are the days of quiet, worksheet driven, math instruction. Instead, kids are now encouraged to explore, reason, and talk.... a lot! Welcome to a kindergarten classroom, where math talks are now a part of the daily routine.

Math talks, also known as number talks, are designed to encourage student discourse while building mental math and computation. Through the process of reasoning, teachers are given an invaluable opportunity to assess the students true understanding of numbers. 

These Daily Math Talk Cards, for Counting and Cardinality, are an excellent tool to incorporate into your math program. With 30 activity cards included, you have just what you need to start your math instruction for over a month!  Let's take a look at how you can get started on number talks.

Read or display the card, allowing ample time to complete the task/solve the problem.  Do NOT show them how to figure it out.  For differentiation, you can offer a choice to signal, speak, or draw a response. 

Once they have given a response, the MOST important part is allowing them time to explain their reasoning. Even if they are wrong with their initial response,  DO NOT tell them so.  Instead,  ask them questions such as: “How do you know?”  “How did you solve that problem?”  “Can you come up and show us how you figured it out?”  Then,  be sure to ask “does anyone have a different answer they’d like to share?”

"Great way to get students talking about math!" 
(Jennifer M.)

In a large group setting, you can display the full-screen slides on a smartboard.  This is a great option for the cards that have graphics incorporated into the activity/question.

 On the slide below, students have a clear view of the tens-frame.  Asking "What can you tell me about this tens-frame?", allows students to share what they know... unlike right/wrong answer type of questions.  For example, you may get responses such as, "I see two red dots", "I see 2 red dots, and 3 yellow dots", "I see 5 empty boxes.", "I see 4 and 1", etc. 

The more you encourage others to share, and question rather than correct, the more you will build their confidence in student discourse. 

"I use these everyday to start math groups." 
(Corrine S.)

You can also print the 3x4" cards, included in the resource, to hang on a math wall for quick access. Having the printed set is also great for parent volunteers, small groups, tutoring, and transitions. 

"My kids are really liking these. Great little questions to get minds-on. Thank you!" 
(Suneela M.)

Check out more of the 4 star reviews:

  • Helped me set up my Math Talk - Catalina H.
  • I am so excited to use these in my math program next year! - Buyer
  • Great practice! - Lesley R.
  • Thanks. Love your products!!! - Candice F.
  • Awesome! - Maggie M.
  • Good help for number talks! - Krista B.
  • I am so glad that I started using number talks this year. Your product really helped me get started. The kids love it! - Buyer
  • Great math resource! Thanks! - Sue C.
  • Thank you! What a quick way to squeeze in some skills and incorporate quality math talk! - Nancy S. Very Helpful! - Joan D.
  • Great - Helen P.
  • Very helpful! - Joan D.

You can get a set of Daily Math Talk Cards, HERE


  1. I love these, thank you- I added them to my wishlist!

  2. Hello,

    Do you have this in a large PDF version so I can import the cards into PowerPoint? Unfortunately, our school doesn't have a SmartBoard.


    1. As long as you are able to open a PDF from your school computer, you will be able to use these. Small cards are also included to print off. These are great for keeping on your math board.