Number Sense Reflection

Apr 29, 2014

This time of year always brings about reflection for me.  It starts with cleaning for some reason.  This means my little closet has been sorted through, organized, and labeled.  Once this is complete, my brain moves on to thinking about what went well, what didn't, and what needs to change for next year.

And the lists start.

Last year at this time, Natalie and I had decided number sense was lacking in our instruction.  It needed to be stronger, had to improve...there was no question about it.  So we researched, sat down, talked, planned, created, and implemented.  This year---I can honestly say that we did so much better but there is more growth to be made (always).

I ordered Number Talks.  Downloaded some webinars.  Attended an Early Numeracy PD over Spring Break.

Then (out of the blue) Sarah Major from Child 1st sent me this:

Just.In.Time!! THANK YOU!

So I notes.

The ideas within are so visual, but also include kinesethic and auditory components to each activity. Just what my struggling mathematicians need.  Honestly, it is what I need. Math has never made much sense to me.  Visual teaching techniques do make more sense to me.  And the more I learn, practice, read, implement, try out, fail, succeed--I feel like I'm becoming a better math teacher.

So what did I get from all this reading and tagging.  Well, quite a bit:

I have been using dot cards this year (my first year using them).  But I can see through my reading that I need to do even more with them.  I can present them in a variety of ways, including colored dots, pyramid dots, and five frame dot cards. Here are some cards that Sarah sent with the book:

My kiddos decided these were way better than my hand-made cards!

Yep. It's a problem for some of my kiddos.  There are some great visual and kinesethic tips for me to help my first graders with this problem.  These lesson may come FIRST next year!

Stony Brook Village is a strategy that Sarah created to help students visualize computation.  I could see this being a part of our number sense board.  The village is set up with houses for the facts to 10.  There is a story to go along with village, which I think will help my students connect and make more sense of the facts to 10.  They have GOT to know these facts!

As I read the book, I knew I couldn't do this alone.  We work as vertical teams twice a week in my K-2 building and we would need to look at these ideas together.  That meant...ordering more books!  Plus we would need Book 2: Place Value.

So we did.

And I look forward to having conversations with my building so we can support each other vertically with number sense concepts.  And then, come May next year, we will reflect, research, change, read, implement again!


  1. I think you would LOVE Marcy Cook Math. It's a lot of games and puzzles that really play on number sense in a fun way. I will try to pull out some of the Marcy Cook stuff I have to show you the next time we get together.

    Also, I love that I'm not the only one who gets reflective at this time of year. I feel like so many people get burnt out in the spring and don't want to really think about next year- but it's ALL I want to do!

    I would love to borrow this book sometime, too! It looks great :)


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