Number Sense is an important component of a child's ability to learn and understand mathematics. However, number sense in the early grades is more than matching a numeral to a quantity: it is also having a "feel" for how numbers compare to one another. It is the basis for how we differentiate answers that are reasonable from those that are nonsensical. It is how we solve problems without the aid of a pencil, calculator or algorithm.
This packet focuses on a specific aspect of number sense in the early grades: where are numbers when they are arranged spatially on the number line.
This packet consists of 4 different activities that can be done individually and as a class to develop and evaluate spatial number sense. There is a special section designed for kindergarten teachers to teach the basics of number sense using a linear model, better known as the number line. This section includes materials on teaching subitizing a position on a number line from 0 - 5 and 0 - 10.
Activity #1: A set of task cards for students to fill out individually, as well as posters to discuss with the whole group. The idea is for students to fill in missing numbers on a blank number line which is labeled 0 and 10, without any hash marks as their guide. Without the presence of guides, students must use spatial reasoning to decide where the different numbers go on the number line.
Activity #2: Similar to activity #1, but only locating a single number on the number line, but also going from 0 - 20 and 0 - 25.
Activity #3: Agree or Disagree? Students look at a number line - a star underneath points to a location on the line and a number is in the star. The students decides if the star is pointing to the correct location on the number line. This includes a set of task cards where a student can write a short explanation of why he/she agreed or disagreed.
Activity #4: Big or Small? Students are given a number and asked to describe when that number is "big" and when it is "small." For example, given the number "2," in what circumstances would it be big ("when I have to wait 2 hours in the rain for the bus to show") versus small "when I have $2 in my pocket and I'm shopping at Whole Foods!)
Through individual work and classroom discussions, the students will learn different techniques to help develop their number sense. They will learn how to use a "halfway" benchmark to place the number 5 between 0 and 10, which will help them figure out smaller increments like 1, 3, 7 and 9. They will learn that 1 is the same distance from 0 and 2 as 9 is from 8 and 10. They will also learn to understand as "relative" amounts, rather than absolute quantities.
This is the first release of a much larger collection of activities designed to develop number sense in grades K - 8. Purchasers of this activity will receive continual updates in the form of addition activities for the next year for no extra charge.
This packet also includes a 4 page review of what number sense looks like from grades K - 8.
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