This this Number Talk, I led the students in two related problems, to check their application of strategies and concepts from the first problem to the second. It was great to hear the students' strategies, mathematical thinking, and the academic discourse we had around the two problems in the first image above. As in all Number Talks, I chose the problems 4 + 6 + 5 and 24 + 16 + 25 purposefully to see if the students would be able to make an connections between the two problems. It was great to see some common strategies used across the two problems.
It was truly amazing to see the students work so hard on the math problems, especially when the day was filled with Halloween-themed activities. What an amazing pleasure it was for me to share that Number Talk with them
Open-Ended Problem Stem
After beginning with a quick warm-up problem and reviewing the importance of showing our work, including every step so our thinking is clear, and labeling our work, I introduced the problem above. I got scared at a Halloween Party and hid under the table. Eventually I built up my courage and peeked from where I was and saw 19 legs. Who could be at the party?
The students immediately had this confused look on their faces. "How could there be an odd number of legs?" "What?!?!" "Do you get it?" "I don't understand." Those responses were just the reactions I anticipated. After a bit of encouragement to attempt the problem, suggestions to talk with their partners, and to think creatively, the students really into the problem.
It was really great to hear and see the students' increased flexible thinking with the problem. As you can see in the pictures in the above gallery, some ideas included an alien costume with three legs, a pirate's costume with a peg leg, and a costume of an elderly person whose cane was mistaken for a leg.
In my closing, I complimented the students with the lifeskills they showed during the lesson. I twas great to see the students demonstrate perseverance, collaboration with partners and as a table group on a difficult problem, effort, and a growth mindset. Those second graders definitely showed an incredible sense of accomplishment and pride when they reflected on their work.
For me, it was an incredible day being at Juana Briones Elementary School - participating in the Halloween Parade, sharing a Number Talk with Charlotte Fang's third graders, and demonstrating an Open-Ended Problem Stem to April McCandless' second grade students.