Best Ways to Develop Math Number Sense-Fun Ideas

Have your students catch Number Sense!!

Number sense, numeration, and numbers need to be caught (not taught), explored, and investigated. It can be done with easy, fun activities.

Search for Number Sense!

One of my favorite is Search the Room. I hide small cards around the room. The students walk around with a recording sheet to find matches. The students must count the dots, color the match, and then search for a new match. It is amazing to see the students that need to count the same number of dots over and over ( I can also quickly assess one to one counting)…then the ones that begin to add independently.

Then I make it fun by changing the solid blue squares into apples, pumpkins, turkeys, and presents depending on the month. The most important part is that the students get the chance to practice and catch number sense. It takes a lot of time and practice.

Number Path

Another fun activity is Number Path; think of a concrete representation of a number line. A number path should be use for K-2 learners instead of a number line because it shows an image instead of a space, which can be difficult for concrete learners.

Here a student is practicing counting while pointing to the number

I print the picture on card stock and cut in into groups of 5 to hang on my white board. I also make a copy for the students to cut into groups of 5 and take home to practice counting. By keeping the 5’s connected, subitizing and work with 5’s and 10’s becomes concrete.

Students cutting apart number chart for home practice.

Adding to 5.

  Yep! I like to let them cut to work their fine motor skills! Click here for Cutting Guide to help kiddos practice and learn how to cut. 

I make the 1-5 path bigger with a document camera and the students used the number path to “show” how to solve addition and subtraction word problems. 

You can also cut apart a second sample for ordering practice. Match the individual number to the ordered set. The groups of 5 make this activity much easier than separate numbers.

Get Things Rolling!

 Rolling Dice games makes subitizing,  number id, and counting fun. We roll a dice, throw a bean bag to identify the number rolled, and hop to the number. Then turn and count backwards to hop back to 0. So many skills covered. To keep all the students involved, we record the number rolled and create a graph worksheet. Once everyone has a turn, we discuss the number that was rolled more and the number that was rolled less.  Counting again.

Sometimes we just roll a dice and fill in the graph! A great way to change it up is to use different colored dice
Keep the sheet the same! Students think it is new and fun, but they actually can do it themselves. This is one that is requested again and again by the students.
                                           ???? IMAGE FOR LATER USE

Fun Resources

So many fun things to do with numbers! Here are the resource I use. Click on the pictures to find the resources.


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Gina

    I love all the interactive, hands on activities for the kiddos.


    Such fun activities that get students up and moving! Great ideas!!

  3. English Grade 11 Blog - 745140001

    These are fantastic!

  4. Fortune Cookie Mom

    You got a lot of very nice ideas. I can't wait to try too. Thanks for sharing.

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