Monday, 2 June 2014

Number Sense

You can't escape mathematics even if you want to !

On a serious note i think math is an important part of our lives and we use it all the time. (If you found the poster interesting you can click on the link :MATH-FREE-POSTER to get a copy for yourself.) I recently read a paper on number sense, assessment tool for identifying children at risk for mathematical difficulties by Nancy. C. Jordan and found out that poor achievement in math can have serious educational and vocational consequences. If a student wants to pursue college level science courses, competence in math will be a key factor in determining that child's success. And the reason why many children do not have this competence is because their foundation in math skills were never set right in the Early Years. According to the paper,weak number sense can result in poorly developed counting procedures, slow fact retrieval and inaccurate computation. And i never thought that the simple skill of counting, actually is of paramount importance. When children count objects, they get an understanding of what numbers actually mean and then they start making a connection between quantity and the number. Engaging children in games related to counting and number correspondence helps to develop a good foundation and build number knowledge.

Setting up a math rich environment is very vital to math learning and gives children an opportunity to explore, question and solve problems.

In many classrooms, math begins during calendar time and my class is no different. Children gather to do the calendar and math is very evidently incorporated while singing songs for days of the week, months in a year, finding the date and counting how many days we have been in school.

I also let children take the attendance for the day and count how many children have come to school.
I have a number line with numbers from 1-25 written on it. Every day the calendar person does a head count, pointing at each child's head. Another child listens to the number and points at the number on the number line. In this simple activity, children learn how to count, do number correspondence and recognize numbers.

We also count the number of boys and girls separately and the calendar person for the day writes the number on the chart.

Math begins in a fun way and children engage in counting with gusto.

Another idea which i implement in my class is to put magnetic numbers on the white board along with a number line. The magnetic numbers are all jumbled up and children sort the numbers in order, taking help from the number line. I wish i had a photo to upload but school is closed and i don't have any pictures to share. 

I love taking out my cupcake tray for a fun center activity. I place some cupcake paper cups for children to count and place in the correct section of the tray. Children sometimes use a bakers hat and love pretending to bake cupcakes.They take the math activity to another dimension altogether.

Another fun idea is to make cupcakes with paper and write numbers and dots on them. Children need to see the number and match it to the correct number of dots.

I love food. Its evident from the activities that i am sharing. :)
In this one too, children count the fries and put them in the correct pack. You can make the fries with foam for durability.

Children love using manipulatives to count. You can write numbers for them on a paper or give them number cards. They can count objects according to the numbers.

A similar activity can be done using bird cutouts and some feathers. Write the number on the bird template and let children count and put the correct number of feathers on the bird.

I love Pete the cat and  found a great idea to go with this book. 

I use the ten frames only for counting. Children count the buttons according to the number on the sheet.

 You can download your free copy from Groovy-Pete-Cat-Freebies and see how this teacher uses it.

There are many number songs you can sing with little children . Our favorites are:
Ten little Indians
Five little Monsters
Five good friends
Five little Monkeys
Five little ducks went out one day

A fun counting song by Dr Jean

Ten Little Indians Song

I also created some number sheets from 1-10 for my kiddos. You could use these during centers, morning work or for assessment. 
Visit my TPT store to download the pack.

I started enjoying math when i started teaching it. Hope you get inspired with these activities and enjoy doing them as much as i do.

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