Number sense is the ability to understand the quantity of a set and the name associated with that quantity. Strong number sense developed in the early years is a key building block of learning arithmetic in the primary grades, as it connects counting to quantities, solidifies and refines the understanding of more and less, and helps children estimate quantities and measurements. © Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative. Reprinted from Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know (2014), Pearson Education.
October 29, 2019
Children love to count. Counting helps them make sense of the world and to find out how many of some. With time and practice, children develop an understanding of the “rules” or principles of counting.
There are all kinds of things to count in pre-k to second grade classrooms. Counting Collections is an activity that develops the Big Ideas of number sense and counting, such as cardinality, one-to-one correspondence, and unitizing.
Looking at a video from our Focus on the Child series, Collaborative member Donna Johnson leads a discussion about the mathematical thinking of a child during a comparison task. This is an example of how…
Collaborative member Donna Johnson leads teachers in a discussion about an activity designed to build number sense in a video from our Focus on the Lesson series. This is an example of how we use…
Here you can download cards and simple-to-learn game ideas to help young children build their understanding of early math concepts such as cardinality and composing and comparing numbers.
Books are a powerful way to launch math investigations with children, but also with adult learners. Our Learning Labs often use picture books as a doorway into mathematics. Here, teachers explore multiple representations of the number five in Anno's Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno.
Regardless of how high a preschooler can rote count, a child’s sense of what those numbers actually mean develops gradually. We call this understanding number sense, and it requires relating numbers to real quantities.
This bingo-like game allows children to think about numbers in different ways. It focuses children on the attribute of quantity of small sets and helps them build a more robust number sense.
This game played with a hula hoop and bean bags demonstrates all the math that can be explored with a simple tossing game. Each round gives children practice seeing and naming smaller parts of a total number in a variety of ways.
Moving from one activity to another just got a lot more mathematical with this simple routine that builds early number sense with preschoolers.