I worked on Session 5 of How to Learn Math yesterday. This course both affirms my knowledge and practice ... AND it challenges me to grow and learn! I have long believed that building number sense is huge and that we don't do enough of it in schools. I have been tutoring young students this summer - students going into grades 2, 3, and 5. These students in particular needed help with composing and decomposing numbers and in using "friendly" numbers to assist in problem solving.
As I thought about number sense I was remembered that I posted about that topic several months ago. I am repeating the post below because it has some useful links in it!
Usually when I think of building number sense, I think about primary math education. I know, though, number sense is something we all must work on all the time! So I did some Internet research to find resources and ideas for middle and high school.
- Knowing how precisely a high school freshman can estimate the number of objects in a group gives you a good idea how well he has done in math as far back as kindergarten, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University found. This Science Daily article is quite interesting.
- One of my first "hits" in my search revealed this book, Building Powerful Numeracy for Middle and High School Students written by Harris, published by Heinemann. The Heinemann website has a brief description. I plan to put this book on my summer reading list!
- If you are looking for number sense strategies and tricks, this website looks awesome!
- The state of Texas has a well-developed academic competition developed by the University of Texas - one of which is number sense. Practice tests are available online here.
- NCTM has published several number sense tasks - with explanation in their Reasoning and Sense Making Task Library
- The state of Washington has posted sample number sense writing prompts for all grade levels.
- San Diego school system has posted ideas for number sense routines.
- University of California also published a workbook on number sense.
- Minnesota has published an interesting paper showing the progession of number sense through primary years to high school.
I'm working on a plan for warm-ups ... for when students first enter. I know I want to incorporate number sense activities, as well as problem solving and review of the daily curriculum topics. Once a week I want to use Math Munch in some way. There are so many ways to go ... so much to do ... How do you structure those first 5 - 10 minutes of your class?
I look forward to hearing about what others do to build number sense!