Monday, 7 September 2015

Ideas to Develop Number Sense

Number sense is part of a child's daily mathematical routine.  It slowly develops over time.  As students develop number sense, they can solve problems and develop strategies to help them solve these problems.

Here are a few ways to help students develop number sense:

1) Number of the Day.  Student practice looking at numbers daily by working on a number of the day.  For example if the number is 9, then students can count on from 9, count backwards from 9,  find its place in the place value system, draw 9 things, represent 9 with nine blocks or counters, or do 9 jumping jacks.  Once the concept of 9 is developed then students will know how many more they need to make 10.  Without using the words addition or subtraction, teachers can reinforce the operations with the words "more" or "less."

Click on the link below to download a Number of the Day Freebie:

2)  Playing Games.  Students can learn number sense by playing games.  One fun game to play is "Hot, Warm and Cold".  The teacher asks a student to place a number on a piece of paper or cardboard .  The teacher is not permitted to see the number.  The student shows the number to the class.  The teacher begins with a "guess."  Student indicate if the number is hot (close to the number), warm (almost close enough) or cold (way off).  The teacher is allowed a certain number of guesses to find the answer.  At this point, the teacher can get a general idea of who knows their sense of number.  I often use signals like thumbs up (hot), thumbs down (cold), small wave (warm).

Thanks to K's Classroom Kreations and Theresa's Teaching Tidbits for hosting this blog link to ideas for teaching number sense.



  1. I love the Hot, Warm and Cold Game idea! It's a nice twist on a game I play with my class, Guess My Number on the Number Line. I like the idea of having the teacher try to guess the number. Can't wait to try it with my class! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you for linking up and sharing your number of the day freebie! I love the hot and col game that really allows the kids to take charge!

  3. I like the idea of a number of a day activity and you can do that with any grade!