“Mathematics is a very broad and multidimensional subject that
requires reasoning, creativity, connection making, and interpretation of
methods; it is a set of ideas that helps illuminate the world; and it
is constantly changing.”
Math talks are a great way to engage children in open-ended explorations that invite them to think critically and creatively about a concept. An effective math prompt to facilitate a rich math discussion will be layered; it should be open-ended with multiple entry points for engagement. Even children as young as kindergarten are capable of participating in complex math conversations. In our classroom I aim to invite children into a math talk at least once a day; I sometimes use the numerical date on our morning message as the spark for exploration. Other times an interesting photo or collection of loose parts will be engaging and incite children into further exploration. I try to vary the invitations I provide in order to diversify the math we discuss and to reach as many learning interests as possible.
I posted two Instagram Reels regarding our daily math talks that has
generated many questions regarding how we engage young children in
robust discussions about math each morning. There was much interest in
these math prompts and many educators reached out with questions
regarding how I create these prompts.
To help support educators who are interested in starting daily math talks with children, I have published a book called Calendar Math: Daily Prompts for Math Explorations with Children.
To help give an idea of what this book is about, and to help educators create their own math prompts, here are the first few pages of the book!