On the second day of back to school, my principal gave to me, two over-sized rugs with a mixed-up set of TEs.
One of my main goals for the first week of school is to teach my classroom routines. Because I use the CHAMPS classroom management system to convey my expectations, I carefully plan how to teach and reinforce my expectations for routines in the classroom. There are two routines that I begin teaching during the first week of school that I want to highlight today– math talk and number talks. Both routines can be completed at the students’ desks or on “over-sized rugs.”
Math Talk is a powerful way to increase your students’ critical thinking and communication skills. Last year, I wrote an article for Rachel Lynette’s Minds in Bloom exploring ways to get your students thinking and communicating mathematically from the very first days of school. In order for math talk to be successful though, students must understand how to collaborate fairly and hold a respectful exchange of ideas. This is where routines enters the picture. Students must be taught how to do this as it is not something that comes naturally to them. Read more about what effective math talk looks and sounds like here.
Number Talks is a classroom routine that is gaining much popularity with educators across the country. While I have been unknowingly using some form of a “number talk” for years, I was intrigued by a book written by Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker titled, Making Number Talks Matter. Last year, I had the opportunity to participate in a book study with other teachers across the country via the Teaching Channel, Facebook, and Twitter. The book was an enlightening experience as helping my students develop flexibility with numbers is a yearly goal of mine and this book described an easy-to-follow routine and is full of ideas and resources to use immediately in the classroom. While reading the book, I wrote a series of chapter summaries that included visuals to support teachers who may be interested in using number talks in the classroom. (Read the series here.) In addition, I am in the process of completing a guest blog article all about how to get started with number talks in the classroom that includes a full resource guide. Stay tuned for details or enter your email address in the “Follow by Email” link to the right to be the first to know when the article is published.
While the first days of school are generally filled with school-mandated policy and procedure review, it’s a great time to start teaching your classroom expectations. This way, students will begin to get back into the swing of things quickly and begin to leave those lazy summer days behind.
Sound Off: What is your favorite routine and how do you teach it?