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.
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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.
Our organic number line!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.