# 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¢ follow sequential directions

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.

## Resources in this post

## 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!