# Building Number Sense

A strong foundation in number sense is an important math milestone.Ā  Ā When students count sets, order numbers, group objects, and compare values, they pave their way to computation.Ā  In this post, we will learn a simple trick to help students with building number sense.

## BUILDING NUMBER SENSE

Learning to count, identify numbers, and understand quantity are a few of the essential concepts of building number sense.Ā  When students are ages 3-5 they are in a stage of mathematical development centered around understanding representation.Ā  By using simple number sense picture mats, we engage our brains in the world of math with numbers.Ā  In fact, a simple manipulative like the snap cube is transformed into knights in a castle or meatballs on a pile of spaghetti.

Children naturally access their imaginations in day-to-day life.Ā  We take advantage of student creativity when we purposefully create the scene for math learning. For example, playing dentist easily becomes a subtraction lesson.

So, what do we do with the building number sense mats?Ā  Here’s a list of skills that students need within this age and range of math milestone.

### Representing

ā¢ match touch to counting (one-to-one)
ā¢ simply classifying color, shape, texture
ā¢ ordering (by height by size or desire of mathematician)
ā¢ sequencing (desire present to create order in some way)
ā¢ count to 10, then to 25
ā¢ recognize circle, square, triangle, rectangle
ā¢ recognize numbers to 10/25 flashcards
ā¢ visual clustering
ā¢ subitizing
ā¢ learning to match sets of objects by number
ā¢ recognize penny, nickel, dime, quarter
ā¢ positional words (put the penny in front of the pencil)
ā¢ which is different? (numbers & shapes)
ā¢ which are the same as? (numbers & shapes)
ā¢ space organization/spatial orientation
ā¢ pattern recognition
ā¢ pattern extension
ā¢ estimation
ā¢ deductive thinking
ā¢ create a pattern or number with one or two objects

## MATH STRATEGIES

While these representing skills are at the forefront, we teach students the following math strategies.

ā¢ build it
ā¢ five frame
ā¢ ten frame
ā¢ dots
ā¢ make Xs
ā¢ cross out
ā¢ draw it
ā¢ quick sketch
ā¢ make it
ā¢ number line to 10
ā¢ count on
ā¢ fingers
ā¢ counters
ā¢ model it
ā¢ number chart
ā¢ patterns
ā¢ act it out
ā¢ number sentence
ā¢ make a set
ā¢ estimate
ā¢ order

The added layer of teaching strategies for our skills creates empowered mathematicians.Ā  I teach the strategy and we immediately apply it in our math learning.Ā  More These visuals help anchor the learning for students.

## MORE ON MATH MILESTONES

Visit this blog post to follow the math milestones from 0-12 years of age.Ā  Grab the free download to keep in your guided math binder or lesson plans for reference!