Number Sense....Trying Something New

Sep 30, 2014

I've said it before and I will continue to say it....I love that our career allows us to try new ideas.  And if they fail, we try something else.  And if they don't fail, we try it again, but make it even better!

One problem we have found at my school...our kids don't know their facts.  Like really KNOW them.  So we are really trying to build their number sense understanding.
Number sense...I am learning.

My teammates Jess, Carrie, and I have been reading:

 The Right Brained Addition and Subtraction suggests to set up the facts as a neighborhood. Here is what Jess made:

Our overall goal is to help the kids visual the facts.  Jess really builds the foundation for these "streets" during her number of the day routine.  Then we expand on it in guided math goups.

We start each of our guided math groups with some math talks.  I found all the "number talk" strings on TPT from the Number Sense Guy.  Um...thank you!! This saved me a lot of creating.  Here is the pack I bought:

Now times this stack by 2 because I bought the first grade and kindergarten set.  Needless to hand hurt from cutting!

 Once we complete our discussion, each student gets to work on their "number." (A little something I learned from the Math Coach.)  We are trying to give each student some time to work with their particular number.  and once they master the facts for that number, they move on.
Our firsties get to use number bracelets, rekenreks, and houses to practice their facts.

 I really like the house manipulative because I think it makes our "fact neighborhood" more concrete.  They get to drop the beans in the house and find out how many people live upstairs and downstairs.  Sometimes they record this on the sheet that I made up and sometimes they just make a simple T-chart.

During this time, Jess, Carrie, and I are able to work individually with students.  We are completing quick assessments to determine what "number" each student is on.  It looks like this:

We are hoping, hoping, hoping that these little changes will make a big impact on our students and help them to KNOW their facts.

Any suggestions...we will take them!

Up next...connecting addition and subtraction.


  1. These are terrific ideas! I'm pinning for later to reread a few more times. I ♥ Math Coach's Corner, but hadn't seen Number Sense Guy yet. Thanks for the tips! Jen

  2. Love, love, love this post! Great ideas! Would you be willing to share your assessment recording sheets or are they available for purchase?


  3. WOW! This is so packed with greatness! I have been using those houses a lot and they really have helped my students. We use beans quite a bit, too! I love teaching math when I don't have to use the book!

  4. I'm pretty sure I've pinned Number Talks. It looks like the kind of book I would learn a lot from. Thank you for sharing how it's making its way into your practice!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  5. So glad I found your blog on pinterest!! My son is going into 1st grade and I can not wait to set up these ideas this summer to be ready for next fall!!

    1. Thanks so much for reading Mandy! We had so much fun this year teaching this way. It was new to us. But we found that great results were produced and the kids LOVED math this year!


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