Fellow teachers and parents of littles, are you ready to learn about these amazing math talks in kindergarten?  

Get your math hats on because we’re about to explore the powerful realm of dynamic discussions that encourage children to think creatively and approach problems in different ways.

You see, math talks are like magical moments in our classroom. 

A math talk is not just about numbers and equations; they’re about sparking curiosity, fostering critical thinking, and helping our little learners develop a love for all things math-related.

It’s like watching a tiny seed grow into a beautiful flower, but instead of flowers, we’re growing brilliant mathematical minds!

Gone are the days when math was all about boring textbooks and memorizing facts. We’re here to make mental math come alive, my fellow kindergarten teachers!

With math talks, we engage our kindergarteners in interactive and exciting conversations that make their little eyes light up with wonder. 

It’s like a secret code to building number sense and unlocking the mysteries of numbers, shapes, patterns, and more!

In this blog post, we’ll discover tips on how to have amazing math talks in kindergarten, whether at home, in small groups, or with a whole class of young children.  

We’ll share the strategies we use to create these meaningful discussions, and we’ll unveil the unforgettable learning experiences our little mathematicians get to enjoy.

Whether you’re a teacher seeking fresh ideas or a parent looking to support your child’s math journey, this article is your treasure map to the captivating world of math talks in kindergarten!

Trust me, the joy on their faces as they unravel math’s mysteries will warm your heart like a cozy cup of hot chocolate on a chilly day!

Are you excited? I sure am, because this is one of my favorite ways to keep learning fun! 

Let’s dive into the magical world of math talks in kindergarten, where every conversation is an opportunity for growth, discovery, and endless mathematical adventures!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into how to conduct math talks in kindergarten, incorporating various strategies and valuable keywords to enhance your teaching practices.

What are Daily Math Talks

Similar to number talks, math talks are designed to encourage children to speak their understanding of math, while building mental math skills and computation.

As young children go through the process of reasoning, you are given an great opportunity to assess the students true understanding of mathematics.

The significance behind elementary math talks lies in the conversations.

The kids are given the freedom to exchange their thoughts freely; sharing processes rather than final answers.

When given a little time to think things through and express their processing, you’ll recognize their math vocabulary and computational fluency right away.  

These talks about math are about problem solving, looking at problems from a different perspective, and supporting one another along the way.

Math talks are so important that they have become a standard within the kindergarten math curriculum.

 In fact you’ll often find curriculums suggesting these math conversations in the daily routine – regardless of grade level. 

The Ultimate Goal of Math Talks

โ€‹The ultimate goal of math talks is to develop students’ conceptual understanding and mathematical fluency.

By encouraging students to explore different ways of solving problems and sharing their reasoning, math talks help build a strong number sense that will benefit them throughout their education.

Whether you’re teaching kindergarten or 2nd grade math, incorporating daily lessons on math talks can enrich your students’ learning experience and empower them to become confident mathematicians.

โ€‹When conducting math talks in your kindergarten classroom, consider these practical tips:

๐Ÿ‘‰ Start with simple problems and gradually increase the complexity to scaffold students’ learning.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Incorporate visual aids such as dot images, unifix cubes, or place value charts to support students’ understanding.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Use resources like Kathy Richardson’s “kindergarten number talks” or Sherry Parrish’s “Number Talks” to guide your lessons and provide valuable insights.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Encourage students to explore different strategies and share their thought processes, even if they arrive at the wrong answer initially.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Provide opportunities for student discourse and peer collaboration to deepen understanding and promote mathematical vocabulary.

how-to-do-math-talks-in-kindergarten Fellow teachers and parents of littles, are you ready to learn about these amazing math talks in kindergarten? ย  Get your math hats on because we're about to explore the powerful realm of dynamic discussions that encourage children to think creatively and approach problems in different ways. You see, math talks are like magical moments in our classroom.

Getting Started with Math Talks

Prior to starting these conversations, it’s important to consider the right resource types for the kids you’ll be working with. 

Taking my years of teaching experience into account, I created a set of math talk resources that include both a printable and digital version for the entire year! 

This kindergarten bundle will produce the best math talks with your littles. 

โ€‹After downloading this low prep resource, simply choose the monthly theme you’d like the kids to engage in.  From back to school to Summer, all seasons and holidays are covered.  

These seasonal questions are the best way to make the math content relevant to the children. 

Print off the Daily Math Talk Cards to keep near your easel, or on your math wall, and keep the PDF on your classroom computer.  By keeping the pdf on your computer, you will have access to display the slides on your smart board.

In a large group setting, you can display the kindergarten number talk cards on a smart board, which will allow students to see the problem more clearly.  This is a great option for the cards that have graphics incorporated into the activity/question.

Below is a video of Mrs. Beth leading her kids in a math talks lesson.  She is a kindergarten teacher in NE Ohio, and has kindly agreed to share her lesson with us. 

Once ready, you’ll want to carve out a short time frame dedicated to have purposely crafted talks about math.

Depending on the time of year, age of your kids, types of question, and how many kids you’re working with, math talks in kindergarten can last anywhere from 3-15 minutes. 

How to Do Math Talks in Kindergarten

Math talks can be valuable 3-5 minute routines (up to 15 minutes) in your kindergarten classroom.  They serve as perfect warm-up activities to kickstart your math block. 

To begin, gather your students in a small group or utilize interactive whiteboards for whole-class discussions. 

You will want to set clear expectations for participation before starting number talks with young children.  

For example, reinforce not blurting out while others are speaking.  I know; easier said than done. But, I promise once they become engaged, they will not interrupt one another.

Set the stage by establishing hand signals and sentence starters to encourage respectful mathematical conversations. 

As you introduce a math problem, prompt students to think about different strategies and approaches they can use to solve it.

Tips for Kindergarten Math Talks

Alright, my fellow kindergarten teachers, it’s time to gather around and discover five fabulous tips for starting these talks in our classrooms! 

These tips are like little treasures that will help us create engaging and meaningful conversations about math with our adorable little learners.

So, let’s get ready to ignite their curiosity and nurture their budding mathematical minds. 

1. Establish Rules for Number Talks

The main purpose of establishing rules is to assure others are able to share their their thoughts without being interrupted.

It’s important to let the child think through his/her math thoughts without disruptive commentary.

When interrupted, a child immediately loses their focus, and can have a hard time getting back to their initial thoughts.

The goal is for peers to listen first, then share their additional thoughts.

Common rules for number talks are:

  • Give a hand signal (such as thumbs up) when you want to speak.
  • Listen first to learn from others, then share to teach others.

2. Keep Math Talks Short

Depending on the type of question, how many kids want to share, and the kids current skill levels (range at different times of the year), math talks should last between 3-15 minutes.

If working with a large group of kids, you may want to set a boundary before starting.

A boundary may look like a timer, or simply letting the kids know you can only hear from 5 kids today.

3. Ask Open-Ended Questions

The open-ended questions in the Kindergarten Math Talks Bundle allow the kids to share their mathematical reasoning without feeling they got the answer wrong.

4. Question Rather Than Correct

If a kid answers a question in a way that doesn’t seem aligned with the skills you’ve taught, ask more questions.  “Can you tell/show me how you came up with that?”, etc.

5. Provide Clear Visuals

The pictures in our Daily Math Talks resource offer the kids visual support when needed.

 While offering support, some of the pictures are non-definitive and allow the kids to explore the mathematical skills.

What Questions To Ask During Number Talks

As a kindergarten teacher, I had to change my “teacher mindset” from correcting to encouraging. 

Whether you are a teacher or homeschooling parent, I get it.  I know you have a million things to cover in one day, and you want to move your lessons along quickly, but hear me out…

With kindergarten number talks, the MOST important part of allowing the kids time to explain their reasoning.

Even if they are wrong with their initial response, DO NOT tell them “no”

If there is a difficult part about “teaching” math talks, it’s learning how to let the kids explain their reasoning even if they are wrong.

All too often, us teachers want to instantly steer them towards the correct way of thinking just to help them out or save them from embarrassment.

While those are good intentions, it does more harm than good.

Instead of correcting a wrong answer, ask the kiddos questions such as:

  • “How do you know?”
  • “How did you solve that problem?”
  • “Can you come up and show us how your figured it out?”
  • “What would happen if you…?”
  • “Does anyone have a different answer they’d like to share?”
  • “Does anyone come up with the same answer, but figured it out in a different way?

Examples of Open Ended Questions for Number Talks

Open ended questions have more than one answer.

According to Model Teaching, the purpose of open-ended number problems is… “to solve problems and understand that some problems can be solved in many ways, with many outcomes.”

The card above, found in our Daily Math Talk Cards, is a great example of an open-ended question, because there are multiple view points that can be discussed.

Questions like these allow you to quickly assess where the kids are with their number and problem solving skills. 

Simply by asking “What can you tell me about these bears?”,  the kids have the freedom to talk about what want.

The counting bears range in size, color, and quantity. 

If you watched the kindergarten math talk video above, you saw some kids talk about color comparison, while others notice size comparison.

Kindergarten Math Talks Bundle

Introducing the Kindergarten Math Talks Bundle: Your Ultimate Resource for Engaging Math Discussions in the Early Years!

Are you searching for a comprehensive resource to enhance mathematical discourse in your kindergarten classroom?

Look no further than the Kindergarten Math Talks Bundle from Little Learning Corner!

This bundle is designed to ignite curiosity, foster critical thinking, and build a strong foundation in mathematical concepts through interactive discussions.

kindergarten math talks

What’s Included:

The Kindergarten Math Talks Bundle is a treasure trove of resources carefully curated to support teachers in facilitating meaningful math conversations.

With over 180 daily math talks, this bundle covers a wide range of topics aligned with kindergarten standards and curriculum objectives.

From counting and number recognition to shapes, patterns, and more, each math talk is thoughtfully crafted to engage young learners and promote mathematical fluency.

Key Features:

  • Engaging Prompts: Each math talk prompt is designed to captivate students’ attention and encourage active participation. Whether discussing dot images, comparing quantities, or exploring spatial relationships, these prompts spark curiosity and stimulate mathematical thinking.

  • Visual Support: Visual aids such as pictures, diagrams, and manipulatives provide valuable support for students as they explore mathematical concepts. These visuals enhance understanding and make abstract ideas tangible, catering to diverse learning styles.

  • Differentiated Activities: The bundle includes a variety of activities to accommodate different learning needs and preferences. Whether students prefer hands-on manipulatives, digital presentations, or printable worksheets, there’s something for everyone in this comprehensive resource.

  • Comprehensive Coverage: From basic number sense to more complex mathematical ideas, the Kindergarten Math Talks Bundle covers a wide range of concepts essential for early mathematical development. Teachers can seamlessly integrate these math talks into their daily routines, making math a fun and engaging part of the kindergarten curriculum.

Benefits for Teachers:

  • Streamlined Planning: With ready-to-use math talk prompts and resources, teachers can save valuable time on lesson planning and preparation. The bundle provides everything needed to facilitate engaging math discussions, allowing teachers to focus on student learning and growth.

  • Professional Development: The Kindergarten Math Talks Bundle also serves as a valuable professional development tool for teachers seeking to enhance their instructional practices. Through guided math talks and reflective practice, teachers can deepen their understanding of effective math instruction and student discourse.

Incorporating Math Talks Across Subject Areas

โ€‹Math talks are not limited to the math classroom; they can be integrated into other subject areas such as social studies, science, and even art!

For example, you can use dot talks to explore patterns in Native American beadwork or incorporate place value discussions into a lesson about the history of the grocery store.

By incorporating math talks into various subject areas, you can create meaningful cross-curricular connections and enrich students’ learning experiences.


In conclusion, math talks are a vital component of early childhood education, providing valuable opportunities for students to develop their mathematical understanding and problem-solving skills.

Whether conducted in a kindergarten classroom or homeschool setting, math talks offer a powerful way to engage students in meaningful math conversations and build a solid foundation for future learning.

So, why wait? Start implementing math talks in your classroom today and watch your students’ mathematical confidence soar!

Are you ready to get your kids fully engaged in number talks?  If so, check out the monthly collections HERE.

Before you go, here are a few blog posts you may enjoy:

20 Basics of a Kindergarten Classroom

75 Best Yes and No Questions for Kids

Benefits of Math Talks with Kids

how-to-do-math-talks-in-kindergarten Fellow teachers and parents of littles, are you ready to learn about these amazing math talks in kindergarten? ย  Get your math hats on because we're about to explore the powerful realm of dynamic discussions that encourage children to think creatively and approach problems in different ways. You see, math talks are like magical moments in our classroom.

Math Talks in Kindergarten