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Math

The Building Blocks of Number Sense

Number sense plays an essential role in helping students to develop mathematical understanding.


I've been doing a lot of thinking about math in my classroom. More specifically, how it's going,

what our math routines are, and how they can be improved. As teachers, we spend a lot of time

reflecting on our teaching practice, so today I want to share with you some of my thoughts on 

building number sense in the primary classroom.


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The foundation of math is having a true understanding of the relationship between numbers.

This is what we call number sense, not to be confused with number fluency, (though number fluency

can be built while building number sense).  However, it's much more complicated than its name

suggests.


What Is Number Sense?

When a student has number sense, they understand what numbers are and the relationships

between numbers, which means that they have sense of what the numbers actually mean.

They are able to understand and manipulate quantities, comprehend concepts such as more

or less, larger or smaller and they can compose and decompose numbers.  They can compare

numbers, perform mental math and can use numbers in real-world situations. When they are

confronted with numerical situations, they use their skills to solve for what they don't know.

Number sense plays an essential role in helping students to develop mathematical understanding.

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