Engaging in Productive Struggle: Number Talks

Grade 2 / Math / ELL
CCSS: Math.2.NBT.B.5 Math.Practice.MP1 Math.Practice.MP3

Common Core State Standards




Grade 2


Number & Operations in Base Ten


Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract


Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Common Core State Standards




Mathematical Practice Standards


Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, "Does this make sense?" They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Common Core State Standards




Mathematical Practice Standards


Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures. They are able to analyze situations by breaking them into cases, and can recognize and use counterexamples. They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. They reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context from which the data arose. Mathematically proficient students are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, and--if there is a flaw in an argument--explain what it is. Elementary students can construct arguments using concrete referents such as objects, drawings, diagrams, and actions. Such arguments can make sense and be correct, even though they are not generalized or made formal until later grades. Later, students learn to determine domains to which an argument applies. Students at all grades can listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)
Content Conversations: Strategies for ELLs Series
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Lesson Objective

Explore subtraction strategies through student-led number talks


7 minutes

Questions to Consider

  • What tools does Ms. LaCour use to support her ELL students?
  • What are the benefits of having students lead the number talk?
  • How do number talks encourage students to try new math strategies?

Watch all the videos in this series:
Content Conversations: Strategies for ELLs

Common Core Standards
Math.2.NBT.B.5, Math.Practice.MP1, Math.Practice.MP3

Supporting Materials

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  • Lesson Plan: Number Talk.PDF

  • Handouts: Number Talks.PDF

  • Engaging in Productive Struggle: Number Talks Transcript

  • Lesson Plan: Number Talk.PDF

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