Help build your students’ proficiency with analyzing and interpreting whole number number lines with this set of task cards and printables. The 32 task cards will provide your students with the necessary practice to build their ability to understand and use number lines. Extend your students’ practice (or assess their level of mastery) with the two included activity sheets. With these resources, your students will grow stronger in their understanding of number lines.
• graphic reference sheet
• 32 task cards
• 8 self-checking “answer cards”
• task card answer sheet and key
• 2 assessment activities and key
About the Cards
These task cards are designed to provide students practice with interpreting number lines that use whole numbers as intervals. Number lines are an important representation across mathematical domains, and they are useful tools for representing number relationships, computing with numbers, rounding, and much more. The task cards in this set were created to prompt student thinking in a wide variety of ways, and they will build your students’ understanding of number relationships. Some of the cards require students to identify a given point on a number line when given two endpoints, some focus on identifying the midpoint of two numbers, and others feature pairs of number lines that students have to compare.
On the majority of cards, the number lines use only two-digit numbers, with only about a quarter of the cards featuring numbers between one hundred and three hundred. The three-digit numbers that are included are benchmark numbers – multiples of 10 or 25 – that allow for easier use of mental math strategies. In addition, the intervals on the number lines are limited to numbers that are easy to count by – 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 25 – with most of the cards using 5 and 10 as intervals.
The questions on the cards progress in difficulty, with the earlier cards featuring easier questions and the later ones featuring more difficult questions. In addition, the cards were created so that each set of four (cards 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, etc.) have similar problem types.
Using the Cards
The structure of the card set allows3 for easy differentiation for diverse student needs. You can have your students who need more practice with number lines start with the first card and complete all the cards in order, while your students who are more proficient with number lines can skip ahead to the more difficult cards. Alternatively, you can could work together on the first card in each set of four, have pairs of students work cooperatively on the second and third cards, and then have the students complete the fourth card independently.
Beyond these suggestions, there are lots of ways in which you can implement the task cards. You can have the students work on them independently, working through the task cards on their own. The students can work on them in pairs or small groups, completing all the task cards in one session. You can use them in centers, having the students complete 6-8 task cards a day over the course of the week. You can even use them as a variation of “problem of the day”, giving each student 1 sheet of 4 cards to glue in their journals and solve, one sheet per day for eight days.
Reinforcing and Assessing Understanding
The printables consist of a graphic reference sheet and two different two-page activity sheets. The reference sheet is full-page size and reviews the characteristics of and vocabulary associated with number lines. The reference sheet features a variety of examples of number lines, as well as some questions about the sample number lines. This allows the reference sheet to be a springboard to a classroom discussion about number lines.
The two provided activity sheets can be used to evaluate student understanding of interpreting number lines. The pairs of worksheets are formatted similarly, and have similar types of questions, though the numbers on each are different, and the questions on the activity sheets are similar to those on the cards. You can use these activity pages in a variety of ways: pre/post-test, guided practice, cooperative work, center assignments, homework, or any other purpose that fits your teaching style or classroom routines.
For more practice with number relationships, please check out the other related resources I have available –
Broken Rulers measure to the nearest inch & half-inch task cards + printables (set a)
Self-Checking Math Riddles – Reasonableness of Sums/Differences
Snow Bonds: +, –, x, ÷ number relationships task cards + printables (set a)
Let’s Operate: applying the vocabulary of mathematical operations task cards + printables set
I hope your students enjoy these resources and are able to build their proficiency with number lines. – Dennis McDonald