Number Sense Routines

Number Sense Routines by Jessica Shumway

Why focus on Number Sense?

Students who struggle in math often lack number sense. It is difficult to compute without number sense. It is a struggle to find relationships among numbers or equations without number sense. It is more arduous to figure out measurement, geometry, and data problems without number sense. In other words, number sense is the foundational building block for all strands of mathematics.
As students build their number sense, mathematics takes on greater meaning. Mathematics becomes more about reaching understandings than following rigid sets of rules. With strong number sense, children become more apt to attempt problems and make sense of mathematics. It is the key to understanding all math. (Shumway - Pg. 8)

What is Number Sense?

Students with strong number sense have: 
• A sense of what numbers mean. For example, they can visualize in their heads how much 100 is or can “see” what looks like (such as one slice of a pie cut into fourths). Someone with a sense of what numbers mean has a visual model and concrete understanding of quantities.
• An ability to look at the world in terms of quantity and numbers.(i.e. When is 100 a lot? When is it not very much?)
• An ability to make comparisons among quantities. For example, they know that 300 is 400 away from 700 by using a mental number line, or know that there is a bigger difference between 50 and 150 than between 1,000 and 1,050. 

Three Types of Number Sense Routines

1) Visual Routines
2) Counting Routines
3) Playing with Numbers Routines

Each type of routine is explained below with resources attached

 *** It is critically important that we understand why we are doing these routines with our students. The routines are meant to be focused on specific strategies.

1) Visual Routines

a) Quick Images using Dot Cards
Dot Cards -- 5 to 9
Dot Cards - Assorted (below 10)
Number Routine Dot Card Files - K through 5

b) Five and Ten Frame Routines

c) Rekenrek Routines

2) Counting Routines:

Counting Routines Overview

a) Count Around the Circle
Count Around the Circle Instructions

b) Choral Counting
Choral Counting Protocol

c) Start and Stop Counting
Start and Stop Counting Instructions

d) Organic Number Lines
  Open Number Line Activities

3) Playing with Quantities:

a) Ten Wand
Ten Wand Variation

b) Ways to Make a Number