Number Talks

Number Talks were created by Kathy Richardson and Ruth Parker in the early 1990s to engage students in meaningful mathematical discourse and sense-making as well as transform the culture of the classroom to one of inquiry and curiosity.

Number Talks in the Primary Classroom by Kathy Richardson and Sue Dolphin, provides all the information teachers need to present powerful Number Talks that ensure ALL children succeed in building number sense and computational fluency. Teachers will see how to make Number Talks purposeful based on how children learn number concepts and the mathematics their students know so far. An abundance of ways to use models to help children see the mathematics they are learning will keep every child engaged, eager, and learning.

What is a Number Talk?

Number Talks are an approach to developing facility with computation that engages children in thinking about numbers and allows them to add, subtract, multiply and divide using the mathematics that is meaningful to them, rather than following procedures that are not.

Read more about Number Talks and find resources here.

Number Talks in the Pre-Kindergarten Classroom by Kathy Richardson and Sue Dolphin, shows teachers how to bring meaning to the math for their students, how to engage them in thinking, and it presents the kinds of models, problems, and questions that are needed to support learning.

Number Talks is a valuable 3-5 minute routine where the teacher is interested in how the children think, and interacts with children in ways that let them show the teacher what they know so far and what insights they are developing over time.

Order your copy of Number Talks in the Pre-Kindergarten Classroom

Number Talks in the Primary Classroom by Kathy Richardson and Sue Dolphin, identifies the mathematics that children must learn, describes the stages that children naturally move through on their way to proficiency and shows teachers how to use models, questions, and experiences to support children’s development of mathematical understanding. This book comes out of the author’s combined experiences doing Number Talks for more than 30 years.

Order your copy of Number Talks in the Primary Classroom

Blacklines for Number Talks Cards to accompany these books can be found here.

Schedule a Number Talks Course in your District

To schedule a Number Talks: Thinking With Numbers K-2 or 3-6 course in your district, contact us at (360) 715-2782 or email Sheryl Russell at