# Number Talks and Number Strings

Number talks and number strings have been getting a lot of buzz lately in the math world. Number talks and number strings are great for building number sense, teaching math strategies, building computation skills, and encouraging math discussions.

Using number talks and number strings is easy and they only take about 10 minutes. This makes them a great routine to start your math class with every day. The discussions, vocabulary, and math talk they generate will impress you!

How are number talks and number strings alike? How are they different? Read on to learn more about these two powerful and easy-to-use math routines and then be sure to grab **20 Days of Number Strings FREE** at the end!

## How Many Problems are in Number Talks or Number Strings?

In a number talk, the focus is on one problem. Students dig into that one problem and discuss it in depth.

Number strings focus on a series of problems that are related and build on each other. Problems in a number string usually get more difficult as students progress through the string of problems.

## What Math Strategies are Highlighted?

A number talk problem is generally able to be solved in many different ways, and students are encouraged to use a variety of strategies. With a number talk, the purpose is to highlight the many possible ways of solving the same problem.

Number talks also help students make connections between strategies. Two students may start off solving a problem the same way but then diverge in the steps they take partway through. This is a great opportunity to compare and contrast strategies and their efficiency.

Number strings are created to highlight a specific strategy and to provide students with guidance in using that specific strategy.

The teacher creates or chooses a number string with a particular strategy in mind that they think will be beneficial for students to focus on.

Think of number talks as a way to talk about different strategies and number strings as a way to teach and build new strategies.

## What Discussion Strategies are Used?

While doing number talks, students guide most of the discussion, sharing the strategies they used and providing reasoning for their choices along the way. The teacher records (writes) the thinking of the students on the board or chart paper using words, diagrams, models etc..

When working with a number string, the teacher guides the discussion to help students see which strategy might be the most efficient to solve the string of problems. The teacher also records their thinking with words, diagrams, models etc… Students still share their thinking on how they solved the number string problems, but it is more guided by the teacher towards the particular strategy or model they had planned.

## Are You Ready to Get Started?

Click the image below to get a free set of number strings ready for you to use in your classroom!

you will receive a FREE set of number strings that includes 20 different slides. The FREE resource contains five slides for each operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

## Looking for More Ready to Go Resources?

I have a variety of number talk and number string resources available in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. These number talks and number strings are perfect for upper elementary and middle school students. Check them out by clicking the image below!

#### To read more about how I use number talks in my classroom, check out my blog post:

Number Talks in the Math Classroom

The Ultimate Guide to Number Talks

How do you use number talks and number strings in your classroom? I would love to hear your strategies for success!

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