Math 3-6

Systems Change


When students have meaningful conversations about math and use math vocabulary, they develop the thinking, questioning, and explanation skills needed to master mathematical concepts. As a 10- to 15-minute discussion, math talks challenge students to use specific math language to share their strategies, which promotes Mathematical Flexibility and Math Communication, and to express, and in turn develop, their Number Sense.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this sixth grade teacher uses a math talk to promote Mathematical Flexibility. As students explain their strategies for arriving at a particular answer, they build their mathematical reasoning, Number Sense, and practice Arithmetic Fact Retrieval.

  • Teachers can implement math talks as a lesson warm-up. During a math talk, students solve a mental math problem in as many ways as they can without paper and pencil. As student share their strategies, they practice being flexible in their thinking about numbers and Operations and develop strong Math Communication.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how Bedtime Math engages families to talk about math before bed. By establishing this routine activity, learners can discuss math topics with their families, hear new strategies or vocabulary, and make math part of their every day.

  • Products can use rich math vocabulary to expose learners to math language as they practice math skills. They can also embed voice recording activities for learners to explain and justify their strategy use when solving a problem. When learners have to articulate their thinking, they grapple with sense-making and deepen their conceptual understanding.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy