I have many different Number Talks activities that I do with my class to get them thinking. One of my favorite out-of-the-box Number Talks activities is Notice and Wonder.

So in today’s post, I am going to share what a Notice and Wonder activity is, share how I use it during math and how you can use it in other parts of your day.

## What is Notice and Wonder Activity?

During a notice and wonder activity, you present students with a picture and ask them what they notice and what they wonder. This line of thinking encourages students to use mathematics as a lens to see their world. When students begin to encounter their world with a notice and wondering lens, they have opportunities to broaden their understanding of what mathematics is and how it can be incorporated in everything that they do and see.

Notice and Wonder provide the opportunity for all students to engage in problem-solving, supporting students in generating ideas and making connections among mathematical concepts.

Students can share their thoughts verbally or they can write down their thoughts on paper and share their responses with the group. Notice and Wonder can be a short routine used to activate student thinking at the beginning of a lesson such as Number Talks, or a stand-alone routine to encourage math reasoning.

## How Do You Incorporate Notice and Wonder into Math?

You can use a variety of different images to show your students that can focus on your math unit. For example, if you are working on numbers, you could have a picture of numbers in various different forms (for example a digital number with different colors). If you are working on addition you could have a box of donuts that has different kinds of donuts. If you are teaching geometry you could show a picture of a playground. The list goes on. You just need to choose an image. I have them in my number talks here.

Once you have the image, next are the steps you follow to get your students thinking.

### Present the Image in Number Talks

The first thing I do is show the image to my students. For example, I show a group of donuts to my students with various flavors for students to look at. My objective with this is to get students thinking about the group of donuts and how they can look at it mathematically. So I show my students the donuts and I ask them “What do you notice or what do you wonder?”

### Possible Student Responses to Notice and Wonder

Students will look at the donuts and could possibly say:

- “I notice that there are 9 donuts.”
- “ I wonder why 6 of them have icing and 3 of them do not.”

Now students may look at the picture of the donuts and say “They look yummy.” I usually say “Yes, they do.” Then I gently remind them that we are thinking with our mathematician hat.

### Record Students Responses as in Numer Talks

I record my students’ answers on chart paper so that all of my other students can see examples of what was said. They can use this to strengthen their mathematical thinking skills.

## 3 Act Tasks with Notice and Wonder

One of my favorite ways to use Notice and wonder in math is through 3 Act Tasks. Graham Fletcher has some great 3 Act Tasks for elementary students. One of my student’s favorite activities from Fletcher is called Humpty Dumpty. In the first part of the task, a man asks his daughter to get a carton of eggs. She goes to the refrigerator, opens it up and eggs fall out and onto the floor. This is where I asked the questions “What do you notice? What do you wonder?”. Students then share their responses.

After they share their responses, then I ask the question of how many eggs broke? I then show act 2 where students know that there were 9 eggs to start with and then I show how many weren’t broken. The student’s objective is to find out how many eggs were broken.

This is a great activity to try and it starts with a real-life situation and where students can use the Notice and Wonder strategy to broaden their understanding of what mathematics is and how it can be incorporated in everything that they do and see.

## Other Ways to use Notice and Wonder in the Classroom

There are other ways you can use Notice and Wonder that are not mathematical. I also love using it in science and social studies.

In science, I use Notice and Wonder. I might show them a picture of a tree in all four seasons and ask them to tell me what they notice and wonder. This is leading them to notice that there are so many things that happen when seasons change.

In social studies, I use Notice and Wonder with primary documents or pictures specifically with my primary class. For example, if I am talking about how a school looked in the past, I would show them a picture of a one-room schoolhouse. I would ask them what they noticed and wondered about the picture. I would make sure they focused on what is in the picture, not the fact that it is black and white (which is what they would focus on at first).

There are so many fun ways to use this in the classroom.

## Notice and Wonder in the Classroom

Notice and Wonder encourage students to use mathematics as a lens to see their world. When students begin to encounter their world with a notice and wondering lens, they have opportunities to broaden their understanding of what mathematics is and how it can be incorporated in everything that they do and see.

Notice and Wondering provide the opportunity for all students to engage in problem-solving, supporting students in generating ideas and making connections among mathematical concepts.

You can also use it in other subjects as well. Comment below with your favorite activity to use.

## Math Activities on TPT

Number Talks 2D and 3D Geometry