Creating Number Sense Pt 2

A question I hear a lot amongst teachers, especially in the primary grades, is “How do I create number sense with my students?”. I admit this has been a challenge for me…there are so many suggestions out there…but number sense is so important. As a teacher who has taught older elementary kids, I can tell you that the best math gift you can give your students is a firm foundation in number sense while they are in primary grades. 

So how do we do it? By giving our students consistent, daily practice in representingbuilding, and drawing numbers.  In this post, I will discuss three more ways that I found successful in creating number sense in my students. If you want more ideas, check out this post: How to Create Number Sense, Pt 1. 

Post a Number Line in your classroom

A very simple way to promote number sense is to post a number line on your wall and use it daily. Think of it as math’s version of a word wall…it is there as a teaching tool and a reference for your students.

Here’s a short list of ways to use the number line in your classroom:

  • Counting, both forward and backwards

  • Skip counting

  • Adding and subtracting

  • Find the mystery number

  • Greater than/less than

  • Even/odd numbers

After using the number line regularly in my class, I can’t tell you how many times I see students look up from their work and use it to help them solve. How wonderful is that?




If you don’t have a number line, check out Number Posters and More 1-20 – Polka Dots.  Grab a set HERE!

Picture of number line


Use partners with flash cards


Easy to print math flashcards is an awesome way to help students with their number sense. Use them for individual work or as I like to use them, as a collaborative activity. We all know children learn from each other. Encouraging them to work with a partner not only helps them with their math skills, it also boost s their language and social skills as well. 

Here are some easy collaborative flash card ideas:

  • Memory Matching game

  • Graphing

  • Playdough Numbers

  • Make 10

  • Dominoes Subitizing

  • Bingo

  • Rekenrek (Abacus) addition & subtraction 

I hope this post has helped you. Please feel free to share in the comments any ideas you have found useful in your Number Talk

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