The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics advocates for developing strategies for solving computational problems mentally.
Number Strings are a set of number related clues that solve a computation problem. Students listen to the clues and arrive at a solution. Then the student shares the answer and justifies how he/she arrived at that answer. In a number string, there can be any of number clues. We would suggest beginning with 2 clues and working up to 5 for primary students and staying with addition and subtraction operations until the students have had some experience with halving and doubling numbers and making easy fair shares.
Using Number String problems is a way to help students develop not only mental computation skills, but also their listening and speaking skills. The added challenge of using numbers used in the real world, helps the student develop the ability to apply real world numbers in their computations. As students share their thinking, they are developing their quantitative and abstract reasoning and communication skills. Sharing and listening to peers helps students evaluate another person's justifications. Writing and creating their own number string problems is offering a very important critical thinking opportunity - well worth the time taken to develop these kinds of problems throughout the school year.
This download includes 30 Number Strings and would also be a great center activity for students to work on solving problems mentally with partners!
In this free download you will find a variety of number strings that can be used in grades K-3. We plan to add a variety of number strings around different topics so be sure to follow our store!
Please be sure to review the product! We think that you and your students will enjoy using number strings to build mental math skills!