Inside: An introduction to Number Sense Routines plus a free number grid.
Several children in your class are struggling with math. They seem to have difficulties with the most basic things. Their general understanding of numbers and the relationships between numbers is lacking. When presented with a real life math problem they don’t have the tools to think logically about the situation.
Many children don’t have an innate sense of number; that ability to use strategic reasoning when working with numbers, to be able to represent numbers in various ways, and the ability to compute fluently.
Number sense is complex. There are many layers to it, and it is rooted within all strands of mathematics. Number sense facilitates problem solving, reasoning, and discussing mathematical ideas. (J. Shumway, p. 8)
I just finished reading Jessica Shumway’s Number Sense Routines: Building Numerical Literacy Every Day in Grades K-3. What an amazing book! I highly recommend it to anyone who’s trying to improve their daily math routines.
Jessica discusses (in wonderful detail) ways to effectively use rekenreks, 10 frames, cubes, number grids, dot cards, organic number lines, and different types of counting. There’s also a great chapter on building a caring and supportive math community.
One thing (of many) that caught my eye was her idea of making a math box for each child.
The math box can be used during math stations and small group lessons.
Here’s a list of what could be in the box for Grades K and 1:
- Laminated number grids (0-30, 0-100, or 0-280, depending on need). Be sure to include a black grid, a multi-coloured grid (to highlight patterns), and a blank grid (to print the numbers). See below to download.
- Number cards (with pictures) or numeral cards, from 1 to 30, and for the decades.
- A “ten wand” (five cubes of one colour snapped together with five of another colour).
- Markers and erasers for writing on the grids.
I made a class set of math boxes and they were extremely helpful. My students always had their tools ready to use at a moment’s notice.
I hope you take the time to check out this wonderful book. Your kids will thank you for it!