Number Cards for Counting and Number Talks

Kindergarden and First Grade pictures for addition and subtraction number talks. Pictures for Number Talks. Counting cards with cartoon animals. Pictures for counting all, counting on, counting back, and adding up strategies. Friendly representations of addition and subtraction with small numbers. Easily countable animals.

Image: number talk pictures

1. Number Talks

Number talks are informal conversations focusing on mental mathematics strategies. If used, they have an impact on elementary students´ mental mathematics abilities and problem solving strategies. Adopting brief number talks as an essential component of elementary mathematics curricula, allows students many opportunities to solve problems mentally and to discuss their reasoning.

Number talks have been used as a way to improve number sense and conceptual understanding while helping students see the relationships between numbers. Solving problems mentally and then discussing them in an open format, where the focus is on the process rather than the answer encourages learners to build on these number relationships to solve problems rather than to rely on memorized procedures.

1.1. Key Components

  • A safe and accepting classroom environment and mathematical community
  • Classroom discussions
  • The teacher´s role as a “facilitator, questioner, listener, and learner”
  • Use of mental math to increase efficiency and knowledge of number relationships
  • Purposeful computation problems that support mathematical goals in number and operations


  1. Teacher provides the problem.
  2. Teacher provides students opportunity to solve problem mentally.
  3. Students show a visual cue when they are ready with a solution. Students signal if they have solved it in more than one way too. (Quiet form of acknowledgement allows time for students to think, while the process continues to challenge those that are already have an answer)
  4. Teacher calls for answers. S/he collects all answers -correct and incorrect- and records answers.
  5. Students share strategies and justifications with peers.

Many of the number talks consist of three or more sequential problems. The sequence of problems within a given number talk allows students to apply strategies from previous problems to subsequent problems.

Here is a more detailed explanation of how Number Talks work.

2. Addition and Subtraction Number Cards

This file contains 12 pictures, one on each page, showing cartoons of different friendy animals arriving or leaving the scene, each page shows a different number of animals arriving or leaving as a model of addition and subtraction. Print the sheets and project them or show them on a smart board. They can be printed and laminated if you plan to use them frequently. Download it in PDF format [PDF Document]. Use the password to open it.