10 Ways to Develop Number Sense

Number sense has to be caught and can not be taught!  

There are so many things to do to practice!

1. Number Path

The students love to count on the number path!  Remember a number path helps students because they can see the actual number of things!  So much more powerful than a number line!

Pointing to the number helps to build number id!  It is so much fun to see the AHHA!  when the students finally realize that the 6 in 16 means something!

2. Counting

Counting?!?  Yes, it can be so boring so we add movement!
Push up and hold until we count to 20! Try it!  Works those muscles!
Then push up like a crab and hold, once again count to 20!

3.Counting Backwards

Be a rocket ship and Blast Off when you get down to 1!

4. Spill the Beans

Pick a number you need to work on and use beans to tell how many red and white!
1 red and 2 white makes 3
Recording what was found is done after practice with the manipulatives!

5.Search the Room

Find clues hidden around the room!  The trick is to count how many to find the total!  This is the one they love the most this year!
Not all clues are on the page!  So the students have to really search!

6. Fill the Table

Pick any number below 10!  Drop the beans and tell each part and total!  Don’t stop until the table is full!  Great for developing fact fluency!

7. Circle the Parts

Use the number path to answer word problems!
I ate 2 pumpkins for breakfast and 2 turkeys for dinner.  How much did I eat?

8.Count Everything

When playing letter games, count the cards.
Lay the cards out and have the students count.  Then discuss how many more and less!  Yes, they can see it….if you use concrete things and arms!

9. Yell the Answer (Around the World)

Practice fluency by using  Dollar Store Dice.  Show a number and the students yell the total.
When we first started, the students that yell first had to explain how they knew the answer.  Students that didn’t know or yelled the wrong answer…needed to count!
Now the students are so good at identifying the total that we play Around the World!

10. Books and Finger Plays

This is the book we are reading now and the students LOVE it!
Click here to find 31 Great Counting Books
Finger-plays are so much fun!

Keep working and doing an activity each day to “Catch Number Sense!”

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Kelly

    Lots of great ideas here! They could be easily adapted to older grades as well by using larger numbers, fractions, or integers. Thank you for the great post!

    1. Debora Marines

      I love when I can adapt an ideas for my class! Thanks!

  2. Dania I.

    Sometimes I feel like I've tried everything to develop number sense with my special learners. You've listed some great ideas here! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Debora Marines

      Thanks! Hope it helps!

  3. Debora Marines

    Thanks Dania I. Takes lots of time.

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