Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Number Line as a Teaching Tool

Using the number line as a teaching tool has become a game changer in math class.  When visiting math educators' classrooms I have noticed a shift in where the number line is, how it is created and why it's so effective.

Teachers are beginning to embrace the open number line as an effective tool to represent numbers and basic operations.  The linear characteristic of a number line allows in flexibility to count on or count backwards.  Below is the beginning of a number line with ten frame cards, finger pictures, numerals, tallies, number cube images and words.

The number line also assists in creating solutions to solving answers when dealing with basic operations.  For example, when solving 49 + 13, student begin with 49 and can add 10, 1, 1, and 1 to arrive at their solution.

The number line models effective ways to internalize numbers and basic operations.  Students can easily create their own number lines.  Keep the number lines at eye level.  One teacher had painted the edge of her counter with chalkboard paint.  Students were then able to use the edge as an effective tool to order and compare decimals, fractions, ratios and percentages. Think of the number line as a tool to assist in greater flexibility to construct meaning of number sense and mathematical relationships.  


1 comment:

  1. I love that you represent the numbers many different ways on the number line! Great idea!