*rich*in mathematical practices…they see 16 as ten and six. When you ask them about 8 they can break it down to five and three or say add two more and you have ten.

*taught*. Yet, number sense comes through practice with numbers not only hands-on, but

*talking*about numbers and math in general. We are realizing that math is way more than memorizing facts, but truly understanding what those symbols and operations mean.

How can you improve number sense in your classroom?

–**Link numbers to their own personal lives. ** We have 5 chairs at this table and 6 friends. Will every child get a chair? Show the one to one correspondence of one friend per chair. No, there are* more *friends than there are chairs.

– **Ask students to think BEFORE calling for answers.*** *When you ask students to think first you will allow them time to process what is being asked. Some students require more wait time. If you immediately call on students those fast processors might know the answer but it eliminates the thought process for the others.

– **Have the class weigh in.** When discussing a problem for example a word problem. Call on many different students of varying levels. Have them explain how they think the problem should be solved, their answers, and how they got that answer. Teach classroom respect for all…I agree with ____. I respectfully disagree because ____.

– **Teach perseverance in mathematics. ** We have all failed at something at some point in our lives. However, for kids they see this failure as they will * never* be successful. As adults we if know that if get it wrong today..doesn’t mean we will get it wrong the next time…we have had the experience to persevere and not give up. We must instill this is our students. Show them that you make mistakes during math too. Allow them to help you through your hiccup. They will see you persevere and know that they can as well.

– **Teach a love for math and number.** I always call my students mathematicians during math. This makes them feel as though their job at exact moment is to *do* math. When we take the time to think of fun and engaging ways to explore concepts during math we are opening the door for math to become more than numbers on a paper…but more of an adventure an answer…like pirate in search of his treasure.

**– – – – – – – – – – ****– – – – – – – – – – ****– – – – – – – – – – ****– – – – – – – – – – **

Honestly…not lying…totally the truth here…I now LOVE math time. It really feels like we “play” for the whole hour and just have a darn good time! We talk, we discuss, we reason, we talk shop with our longtime math partners, get up and move as we do math, have a time to just sit and listen to our teacher, and breakaway with our partners for independent practice. After that we really have fun with our math partners doing math tubs!

Now truthful again…math might be even sweeter that it takes us up right to the end of the day…but that is just the ice cream with this sundae 😉

__Make “Math” Visible Around Your Classroom__

Really. I think my students know that I have a respect for math time and have high expectations for them during math. I always feel that it’s important that kids see “math.” I have all of my math manipulatives easily visible and accessible in my classroom.

*This shelf is over by my teacher table!*

*The numbered tubs are our math tubs for centers and the bottom buckets are math manipulatives!*

* The below picture is from my sister’s room! Adorable and organization to the max! *

*These snapshots are of my math cabinet! I have tried to keep it organized, but we all have that area we are glad there are doors to hide the “stuff!” 🙂*

**Make Numbers Visable**

*Our organic number line!*

**Take Time To Explore**

I also am very adamant about giving my kids plenty of time to simply *explore *math. This is one of those places that some don’t understand…not talking teachers here 😉 A lot of people do not understand that kids ALSO learn through play and conversation. I am always amazed how the kids will naturally talk “math” or play “math” games completely on their own during exploration. You can see in the photo below a snap shot where the kiddos had lined up the bears on their own and were talking about who had more. This is a perfect example of how kids will naturally take on learning and teaching even through PLAY …yes you read that correctly, p.l.a.y.

**Make it Fun!**

*Fine motor and math!*

*Put wheels on it and you will have engagement!*

*Make it theme related on occasion to draw in their attention.*

**Just Add Dice**

I’m positive that next to the words number sense there must be a picture of dice. Add dice and there will be number sense to be had!

**Number Sense Routines**

Make it a routine! Do the same math activity multiple times…where it becomes a staple in your math block! In the pictures below is a routine called dot card match-ups! Simple…yet SO effective for building number sense. I have a full, HUGE number sense routines post with lots of ideas HERE.

**Show Numbers in More Than One Way**

I always love the days where we learn a new number and talk about the ways we can represent it. Now, don’t get me wrong the first time they have all kinds of suggestions…4 cats, 4 dogs, 4 tigers…so we work through all that and come up with a product like this one…

__Number Sense Trackers__

__Number Sense Lessons__

have practiced them in a whole group setting a few times. In this packet you will also

receive 5 additional number sense routines. These routines are a great opener to your math lesson. They require little to no prep and most get the students activity engaging.

Christy K says

Thank you again Tara for an amazing post! I love that you included pictures with each idea you had! It helps me to know that with a little rearrangement, I can give my students a reason to LOVE math! Thanks again!

Lee Ann Rasey says

Love it all! I wish I taught math. The shelves your sister has are wonderful! Are they built in?

Heather L says

Great post!!! I love teaching math to my kindergarten students! Have you ever used math chats with your students?? I LOVE using them and they are a great way to build number sense in your classroom! I also agree with you about doing something multiple times!

recipeforteaching

Jessica says

Love this post and all your colorful containers! I can totally tell which of my second graders need to develop better number sense. This is so key in K/1 classrooms and needs to continue beyond it!

What I Have Learned

ronnie says

Thank you.

Miss Kindergarten says

You inspire me!!!!

One Sharp Bunch by Ashley Sharp says

Tara, this is an awesome post! I am a math girl too, so I totally get why you love your hour of math! I bet your kiddos love it just as much as you! Thank you for sharing your number sense ideas and for providing a clear explanation of everything that means number sense!

Ashley

One Sharp Bunch

Remei Gómez Gracia says

Oh WOW! This is SO INSPIRING! You've got the neatest class ever!!!! Everything's so well ranged and organised!! I really look up to you!!! Thanks for sharing this I really am amazed by how great it is and I'm sure your students benefit from it SO MUCH. Thanks for sharing the worksheets and you experience, these are priceless. I'm going to share it with all my fellow teachers so they can see and be inspired too.

T·H·A·N·K·Y·O·U!!!!

Gina Booth says

Thanks Tara! You always explain how things are used in your classroom so well. It is inspiring and helpful! Can you tell me where you got your adorable calendar?

Anonymous says

It is from Carson Dellosa! 🙂

Katrina Reeves says

Do you have a picture of your completed organic numberline through 20. I would love to see that to model mine for the new year. I bought your numbersense routine packet and it only shows a picture from 1-5. You can send the picture to kdreeeves23@gmail.com. This is my first year and kinder and I am already addicted to your blog. Thanks for all the helpful information.