Use these math activities to build number sense and fluency
Building number sense is such a broad term when you think of everything students have to do and know in order to do so. When building number sense, you have to understand more or less and bigger or smaller. You need to have the ability to understand numbers and how they are related to one another in order to solve problems. Keep reading for some number sense math activities.
Seeing Is Everything
When students can see how many a number is is much more powerful than seeing a digit. In the beginning of their number sense journey, seeing the digit 4 is less meaningful than seeing the number represented in either pictures, a ten frame model, fingers, etc.
Find the whole
It is so important to teach our students to find the whole number. 5 is the whole. 10 is the whole. If they know and understand that these are the whole number (or base number), they’re going to be able to do so much in terms of understanding number sense.
Activities to do to build number sense:
- Calendar Time: When doing calendar time with your students, dedicate a couple minutes to building number sense. Draw dots in random places on a die or ten frame to get them to recognize automatically how many there are.
- Number Sense Independent Math Games: These math games are a fun way to have students practice number sense. All you need is a die or spinner. Students play “against themselves” so there is no peer pressure to figure out answers within a certain time frame or the pressure to get it correct every time. You can grab them here.
- Use Target mini erasers: Here’s another fun way to use all those Target mini erasers you have laying around! Give students a container of 6 (or however many) and have them find partners of 6 with the erasers.
- How Many? Card game: In partners of 2, students split a deck of cards. Take the king, queen, jack, and ace out first so there are only number cards. One student pulls a card. The other student then guess a number and the student with the card has to give clues, such as: higher/lower, how many more/less, etc.
- Number Sense Bingo: Here is a free game for you! I love using Bingo with my students and here’s another Bingo game for you!
Building number sense in first grade is so important for our students. I hope these ideas are helpful for you to implement in you classroom. Let me know if you use them in the comments!
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