As each day unfolds at Polk Central Elementary, fifth graders in Julia Tackett’s class participate at some point in a Number Talk.

Number Talks are short daily exercises lasting some 10 minutes and aimed at building number sense. Number sense is the ability to play with numbers, meaning students can visualize problem solving, perform calculations quickly and are flexible in their mathematical strategy.

Students are able to learn new strategies from their friends to help build their mental math capabilities.

Aiden Billings leads a Number Talk for students in Julia Tackett’s fifth grade class at Polk Central Elementary