If you follow my blog you know I moved and I'm trying to organize my entire house, but really focusing on organization in the office. I posted a pic a few weeks ago of what my office looked like. It looks a lot better now but I don't want to post the after picture just yet, I still have a LOT to do.
Anyways...so as I was rummaging through old boxes of teacher stuff I have. And I found a sign I used last year during my number talks. If you're not familiar with number talks, you should definitely check out the book by Sherry Parrish. It's kind of expensive, but it comes with a dvd that has teachers modeling the practice which I thought was super helpful. I actually modeled a number talk for one of my district's math trainings, which would have been fine with me if I wasn't 9 months pregnant at the time and about to pop!! My ginormous belly probably distracted everyone from what I was teaching...but that's ok. (Oh and I remember I was wearing this really pretty gold Heidi Klum maternity top...but in the video it just made me look like a giant Cadberry egg!! HA!)
So back to number talks...basically you pose a problem to the kids but you really push wait time. For example, I would write 24+15 on the board. Instead of all of my kids throwing their hands up and yelling out answers, I ask them to think. To reinforce the process, I made a little visual aid with a red think sign, similar to a stop sign. (I found this idea in a Donna Whyte book but changed the images to suit my needs.)
Here's the original sign I made, I just covered up a stop sign I had on a popsicle stick, I think it came in one of those Dollar Tree teaching supply sets. It wasn't very pretty but it did the trick! When I held this side up, the kids could not raise their hand or talk out. It meant it was just time to THINK!
After think time was up, I would turn the sign over to a green sign that had an alarm clock going off. This meant the kids could raise their hands and share answers.
We would share several answers, then I'd call on a few kids to "defend" the answer they believe is correct and we would have a discussion about the method they used for solving the problem. I liked doing this because kids who got the wrong answer could see where they went wrong and had those "Aha" moments.
I made a newer, nicer version but instead of the alarm clock I chose to write "Hands Up".
To make the sign, print out the pages, laminate them back to back and then cut a slit to stick in the popsicle stick. Or you can laminate them separately and hot glue them together. You can pick up the file here.