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3 Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Number Sense

In preschool, the core of mathematics instruction is teaching numbers and counting. This is done by teaching students to identify numbers 1-10 and counting to 10. These skills are taught intentionally and on a daily basis. This is where their understanding of number sense begins to take place. As students move into kindergarten the skills will build on each other and lead to recognizing and counting higher numbers. There are tons of ways to teach number sense in your classroom. I'm going to talk about my favorite 3 fun and easy ways to teach number sense in pre-k and kindergarten. 

Teaching number is an important part of math in preschool and kindergarten.  These tips and ideas for teaching number sense will help you and your students.

What is Number Sense?

To put it simply, number sense is your sense of what numbers mean. Which number is larger or smaller? What value does the number hold? Comparing numbers to each other and figuring out what they mean in the real world are also a part of number sense.

Number sense is just as important in math as phonemic awareness is in reading. When students are struggling in math class it is often because they don't have a solid understanding of number sense. This foundational concept can hold them back from developing future math skills. Before our students can accurately perform number calculations, they need to have a firm understanding of number sense. 

Number sense includes all of the following:
  • Number identification
  • Counting
  • Adding
  • Subtracting
  • Mental Math
  • And so much more!

Teaching Number Sense to Pre-K and Kindergarten Students

Just like everything else, teaching number sense requires some planning on your part. It needs to be a focused part of your daily routine. This will set your students up for success in their future math endeavors. 

I like to focus on a number of the week. Morning meeting time is the perfect place to introduce the number and practice it daily. I have a pocket chart on my board with everything I need to teach the number of the week. We work on number recognition and counting. We talk about what comes before the number of the week and what comes after it. I post all of these numbers on the board as a visual representation. We also use a number line to help with our counting skills. 

Morning meeting is a great starting point and a quick review for our number of the week. However, we still need to dive deeper into the numbers to full understand them. Here are some skills I focus on to do just that. 

3 Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Number Sense

1.  Number Recognition

Number recognition is the absolute first step in teaching number sense to students. There are so many creative ways to to this at home and in the classroom. Teaching students to be aware of numbers in their environment is a great way to to this. Along with recognizing the number, your kiddos need to learn to write it. A simple way to this this is be tracing the number and writing it a few times daily. 

Now that we can recognize and write a number, it's time to represent it. Do this with pictures! Kids love activities with pictures that they can color and decorate to have a little fun. 

2.  Counting On 

Counting on is an important math skill that students need to develop early on as part of mastering number sense. Otherwise they'd have to start counting from 0 every time. Who has time for that? Teaching students to start with the biggest number and count on from there is usually a simple task. Counters and number lines are great tools to use for teaching this skill. 

3.  Ten Frames

Ten frames are a great tool for students to begin to understand numbers in relationship to each other and the beginnings of place value. They are just rectangular frames divided into 10 individual boxes. Numbers up to 10 can be shown in the ten frame using counters or dabbers of some sort. Ten frames help students to really "see" a number. They help with addition and subtraction as well. They are also a great tool to provide more hands on learning to your students. 

These 3 fun and easy ways to teach number sense are just a few of my favorites. Of course there are a ton of different ideas and methods to choose from. The key is consistency and practice, practice, practice! 

Number of the Week

When I was developing my lessons to teach number sense in my classroom I knew I needed something that would be quick and easy, yet effective and rigorous at the same time. That's when I created these Number of the Week worksheets that meet all of my needs. Not only do they reinforce what we learn during our morning meeting time, but they give students a variety of ways to work with numbers too! 

Each resource gives students lots of practice working with numbers, representation, and relationships. Your students will work on number sense skills like these:
  • Number line completion (K.CC.1)
  • Counting forward from the number (K.CC.2)
  • Writing numbers (K.CC.3)
  • Representing numbers through pictures (K.CC.B.4)
  • Comparing numbers (K.CC.6)
  • Representing numbers on a ten frame (1.NBT.B.2)
You and your students will love the mini posters and coloring pages that are included to make learning fun! I know you'll love this resource as much as I do. So, I put together this Number of the Week Bundle so you'll be all set with numbers 1-30. 

You can find more Number of the Week resources for Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

I can't wait for you to get started on your teaching number sense journey. I hope you enjoy these 3 fun and easy ways to teach number sense in your classroom. 

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Be sure to save this to your favorite math Pinterest board so you will be ready with fun ways to teach number sense in your classroom. 

Grab these 3 fun and easy ways to teach number sense.

Math Fun for Second Grade: Back to School

The beginning of the year is such a fun and exciting time. Our classrooms are looking amazing, and we are eagerly waiting for the chance to meet our new students. Once school begins there are so many things to do. We need to get our kiddos settled and establish rules and procedures. Not to mention the TON of paperwork to complete. Plus, we need to begin assessing our students and reviewing last year's skills and concepts. Phew! I'm tired just thinking about it! I hope I can make your life a little bit easier with these math fun for second grade back to school ideas.

Grab these amazing resources for the entire year in this back to school math review.

Back to School Fun

Your students will be bright eyed and bushy tailed during those first few weeks of school. This is such a perfect opportunity to assess their knowledge and get some base line data on where you need to begin teaching. Of course you need to begin with reviewing first grade math skills. The Summer Slide is a real thing and most of your students probably haven't done any type of work for a couple of months. 

Grab these fun math ideas for second grade when you head back to school.
What's the best way to do this? I designed the perfect resources for all of your math back to school needs. The best part? They are all included in this Back to School Worksheets Bundle! The resources include all of the first grade math standards in: 
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Measurement and Data
  • Geometry
Each of those broad categories is a unit in this first-grade math review resource bundle.  This makes it super easy for you to find what you need at all times.  Mix it up or do a focused review on one strand at a time.  It's also really easy to see related skills together and choose the review activities that your students really need. 

How Should I Use the Resources in My Classroom?

Learn all about how to use these fun math ideas in your second grade classroom.
I always teach using the "guided math" approach. My math block begins with whole group instruction. This is when I introduce new ideas and review spiral concepts. Then we go into guided practice in small groups. This is where I devote most of my math instructional minutes. Finally, we head into independent practice or small groups for intervention. 

So, as you can imagine these resources are geared towards this approach. There are tons of guided practice pages on each topic that can be used for small group work or intervention. There are also lots of independent practice pages. These have less graphics on them for easier printing. 

The activities give students tons of practice with all of the required skills and allow a rigorous path which leads them into the next level of learning. 

What's Included in this Back to School Math Bundle?

Teaching Tools

There are tons of teaching tools included in the back to school math bundle.
Remember each resource covers a math standard. You'll get a colorful teaching poster that is perfect to display on your whiteboard for student reference. They are also great to use as teaching guides during small group instruction and intervention. They are the perfect "cheat sheets" to remind students of what they learned the previous year.  

Student Practice Sheets

Each resource standard includes two different student practice sheets. There are many ways to use these worksheets such as whole group instruction, independent practice, morning work, small group instruction, intervention, or even homework.  You'll also get a printable and digital version!

The digital version makes this resource a great tool for distance learning.  The activities are all colorful and interactive so that your students will enjoy the lessons without even knowing how hard they are working. Just choose the option that works best for your class. Remember to mix it up often to keep your students actively engaged!

The back to school bundle includes a digital version as well so you are prepared for any situation.

Differentiation Made Easy

All of your bases are covered with this resource bundle. Because it covers every.single.standard you can be sure your students will have a quality review to build on.  As you see struggles or holes in student learning you can easily pull practice activities to target that specific skill.  This also allows you to be able to individualize instruction. You can assign practice to your students based on the skills that THEY need to master. This allows you to continue to challenge your students without frustrating them. 

Use the Back to School Math Fun With 2nd Grade Year Round

This bundle isn't just for back to school time. It is great to use in your classroom all year long. As you know math skills build on each other. As the skills you're teaching progress though out the year, you may notice some gaps in your students learning. These resources are perfect for extra practice to close the gaps. So you can be sure that you aren't leaving anyone behind. 

Beginning of the Year resource for standard I.G.
Grab this beginning of the year resource for standard I.MD.

This bundle includes everything you need for the standard I.NBT.

Everything you need to teach the standard I.OA is included in this resource.

Let's Get the Fun Started

I know you and your students will love the fun and simplicity of these Back to School Math resources. Give them a try today! You'll be able to rest easy knowing your kids are getting the knowledge they need without having to "drill and kill" them. 

Grab the entire bundle that includes all fo my back to school math resources.

Save These Back to School Resources

Be sure to pin this to your favorite back to school math board. You'll have everything you need to let the fun begin. 

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