Math 7-9

Systems Change


When students have meaningful discussions about math and use math vocabulary, they develop the thinking, questioning, and explanation skills needed to master mathematical concepts. Math talks, which can take 10 to 15 minutes, challenge students to use specific math language to share their strategies and justify their reasoning, which promotes Mathematical Flexibility and Math Communication.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this eighth grade teacher uses a number talk to promote Mathematical Flexibility. As students explain their strategies for arriving at a particular answer to a subtraction problem, they build their Math Communication skills and mathematical reasoning.

  • Teachers can implement math talks as a lesson warm-up during which students solve a math problem in as many ways as they can, developing Mathematical Flexibility and a deeper understanding of concepts like Operations or Proportional Reasoning. These warm-ups can also be opportunities to analyze and discuss worked math problems and whether the applied strategy is correct and logical.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • 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