Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


College of Education

First Advisor

Toby S. Jenkins


This action research study employed a mixed-methods design to examine the impact of a number talks intervention on the number sense development and mathematical proficiency of students in one third-grade mathematics class. The number talks strategy was also studied to determine its impact on third-grade students’ development of a productive mathematical disposition. Number sense is “a person’s general understanding of numbers and operations along with the ability and inclination to use this understanding in flexible ways to make mathematical judgments and to develop useful strategies for handling numbers and operations” (McIntosh, Reys, & Reys, 1992, p. 3). This eight-week study involved conducting number talks in one third-grade class of 20 students for three days per week. The study followed the one-group pretest-posttest design to measure the effectiveness of this intervention. Quantitative data were collected using a teacher-created number sense assessment and the Number Sense and Operations instructional area of the mathematics Measures of Academic Progress [MAP] assessment. Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured group interviews. Quantitative findings showed that there were significant increases in the mean score of the teachercreated number sense assessment and the Number Sense and Operations MAP assessment. Qualitative results showed that students demonstrated a more productive disposition towards mathematics after the number talks intervention.