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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What is Number Sense? Games You Can Play at Home


Number sense is probably the most vague of all the mathematical terms. Even teachers who have taught mathematics for years have a hard time defining it - but we sure know when we see it! Students do not have number sense when they are confused about place value (what numbers actually mean) and can't line up the ones place when for an addition problem. Seeing patterns and recognizing the relationship between addition and subtraction as well as multiplication and division also falls under "number sense". You need this sense to figure out what operation is needed to perform a computation problem.

We will spend a good deal of time at the beginning of this year to explore number sense in my math class, starting with addition strategies/tricks and place value.

Parents often ask me how they can support their child at home. While taking workbooks home and working for a brief time (10 minutes, perhaps) is fine, I do want to say that school is exhausting and children really need a time to play and have fun. Please follow your child's lead in this, and make sure they have plenty of down time.

There are also lots of fun games you can play that are wonderful for practice with numbers and operations. If your child would enjoy playing these types of games with you, all you need is a deck of cards or perhaps a set of dice. We play games at school during math, and I will be sharing these with you during the year. To start off, you can click HERE to see some really fun card games that will have your child wanting to practice their addition strategies!

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