Number Talk: Dot Cards & Ten Frames

by Math Solutions Professional Learning Team, September 13th, 2016

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Numerical reasoning starts from the earliest stages of child development. Stacking blocks, counting objects, and filling containers are examples of beginning ideas of reasoning with numbers. As children transition into kindergarten, it is important to provide opportunities to build a foundation that mathematics is about making sense with numbers and number relationships from the very first day. Number talks in the K–2 classroom are an essential vehicle for laying this foundation and providing the building blocks to develop mathematically powerful students.

The use of dot cards and ten-frames in a primary number talk provides an opportunity for multiple content standards to be addressed. While one of the primary goals highlighted in this classroom clip is supporting students’ reasoning about ways to decompose small quantities, it also provides opportunities for students to utilize one-to-one correspondence and other counting strategies, develop cardinality, and subitize.

Watch the use of dot cards in this number talk:

from Number Talks: Whole Number Computation by Sherry Parrish

How does the teacher build student fluency with small numbers? What questions does the teacher pose to build understanding? What examples of subitizing, conserving number, and one-to-one correspondence do you notice? Let us know in the comments what you’ve observed.


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