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Welcome to Table Talk Math. This week, we're using images to start a conversation.
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Table Talk Newsletter #14
This week's content is provided by Pierre Tranchemontagne, an educator who has provided us with a fantastic resource for you to use with your child(ren). If you have not yet checked out his work, do it now!
From Pierre:

How many dots?  
How do you see them?

This image can be found on Number Talk Images- a website dedicated to collecting interesting images that spark "math-y" conversations.  The questions above are a great way to start this conversation with children. There is obviously a fixed amount of dots in the image above; however, there are multiple ways of seeing them.  

Did you see the dots organized vertically from left to right as 2-3-3-2?
Did you see 2 groups of 5 horizontally or vertically?
How about groups of 3 dots from bottom left to top right with one left over?  
What about 3 groups of 4, minus 2 dots that were counted twice?
Another way?  

It is always fascinating to find out how other people “see” the image.

Here are a few more images from the website:

Using these types of images to prompt a Number Talk are a great way to spend time with children developing number sense concepts such as subitizing (recognizing small groups of items within the larger group), unitizing (treating a group of 4 objects, for example, as 1 unit), flexibility with computational strategies, efficiency and number facts, among others.  

Here are some tips on using Number Talk Images at home:

  • Choose an image that is accessible to your child.
  • Wait!  Allow lots of time for observation and thinking.  Think time is key.
  • Share different ways of seeing the image and how each way of seeing can lead to the same amount found on the image. 
  • Listen, listen, listen. The adult’s role is not to “teach” or to try and show a specific strategy in order to figure out how many objects are shown in the image.  Children need to think for themselves and choose which approach or strategy is most appropriate for the given situation.  
  • Ask questions to find out more about their thinking.
  • Errors are great! Make sure to create a safe environment where errors are opportunities to learn.
  • Keep it fun! 10-15 minutes is all that is needed.  The goal is to keep children interested, not bored or feeling like it is a chore.

Another fun way to engage with the website is to create your own image with your family.  Got some eggs? How about some fruit?  Buttons? Cutlery? Almost anything can be organized in an interesting way- just take a picture and submit it to the site.  Your family’s image could be added for the enjoyment of all!  

Lastly, I am always interested in hearing about conversations prompted by an image from the website.  How did it go?  What did your child find interesting?  What did you find interesting? Please share your experiences by sending them to pierre.tranche@gmail.com

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on Twitter (@TableTalkMath) or reply to this email.

Thank you for taking the time to improve math fluency for children, one table talk conversation at a time. For previous newsletters, please check out www.tabletalkmath.com/previous-newsletters
Copyright © 2016 Table Talk Math, All rights reserved.


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