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Sherry Parrish

Number Talks: Whole Number Computation, Grades K-5


Number Talks

  1. A five- to fifteen-minute classroom conversation around purposefully crafted computation problems that are solved mentally.
  2. The best part of a teacher's day.

This dynamic multimedia resource was created in response to the requests of teachers--those who want to implement number talks but are unsure of how to begin and those with experience who want more guidance in crafting purposeful problems. It supports teachers in understanding:

  • what a classroom talk is;
  • how to follow students' thinking and pose the right questions to build understanding;
  • how to prepare for and design purposeful number talks; and
  • how to develop grade-level-specific strategies for the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Number Talks supports the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

Facilitator's Guide
While the book may be used as an independent resource, it is also structured to provide a framework for collaborative learning groups or to provide professional development opportunities through grade-level teams, individual schools, or districts. Chapter 9 serves as a facilitator's resource.

Streaming Video Clips
The online video clips provide a visual platform for teachers to reflect on their current practices and target essential understandings from their readings.

The video clips feature number talks filmed in actual classrooms, grades K, 2, 3, and 5, plus seven bonus tracks highlighting interviews with the author and teachers. Clips range from five to ten minutes in length with a total viewing time of approximately two hours. The resource includes reference tables to help you quickly and easily locate the video clips by chapter and grade level. All video clips can be viewed online using the key code found on page xxii. To learn more about video streaming access, visit

More than 250 pages of user-friendly reproducible dot images and ten frames for grades K-2 from Chapter 4. Reproducibles are sold separately. To learn more, visit


About the Author
Sherry Parrish has spent more than 35 years in the field of education. Sherry holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Samford University and is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. As a former classroom educator and assistant professor, she advocates for the teaching and learning of mathematics through inquiry. She is coauthor of Number Talks: Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages: A Multimedia Professional Learning Resource, and currently works with teachers nationally and internationally in the area of mathematics.

Review: Sherry Parrish outlines the very best way to teach math to young children and gives educators access to the ideas and methods that they will need. This book is a valuable resource for anyone who cares about children's mathematical development. -- Jo Boaler, professor, Stanford University, and author of What's Math Got to Do With It? Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject

Review: Using number talks helps teachers listen to and follow their students' thinking and also deepens their own understanding of the mathematics they teach. Routinely using number talks is an important way to launch into inquiry-based mathematics teaching. In this resource, Sherry Parrish provides a wealth of sample number talks that can be used in sequence to address important mathematical ideas. -- Ann Dominick, Presidential Awardee for Elementary Math and former Alabama Teacher of the Year

Review: For years I struggled to help my students who were unable to master algorithms. Number Talks has been nothing less than transformative! Number Talks has helped my students develop confidence in their mathematical abilities. I especially love the growth of confidence in my girls. I've even had parents ask me to teach them Number Talks strategies. --Bridget Anderson, first-grade teacher, Curtis Elementary, Rialto, California

Review: No other resource has impacted my students' ability to work flexibly with numbers in the way that Number Talks has. It has been truly transformational! Not only are my students more computationally fluent, but so am I. We have all grown as mathematicians. -- Donna Boucher, coauthor of Guided Math Workshop, blogger at Math Coach's Corner, and educational consultant