Building Number Sense

Pintrest Pin Template

     Hello!  This is just a quick blog post about helping your child build number sense.  People who have number sense can use numbers flexibly.  They rely on their understanding of numbers and quantities to solve computation problems.  Children can strengthen their number sense by engaging in fun games and activities that provide the opportunity to build, create, and label number quantities.  They also need the opportunity to break up numbers and to put the parts together again.  This is called composing and decomposing numbers and this lays the foundation for working with larger quantities in the future. 

โ€œWe cannot rush our children through these important experiences; rather, we must give them the time they need to build this foundationโ€    – Kathy Richardson

Mobi Math Game
Create “pods” of related equations.
Build Numbers and Label

Building Fluency_ Math

A Ten Frame is a graphic tool to organize quantities and can help the child “see” numbers.  In the example below, children use mini erasers or counters in two colors to build a number in the ten frame.  The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, has this fun online game for kids to learn to use a  Ten Frame Game.


I created the sheet below to help students build a specific quantity and to learn to record equations for the different solutions to the question. This is a free printable you can use with your student or child.  Start with a small quantity and build to making combinations of 10.   Click here for the free Printable Mini-Eraser Math.

Mini-Eraser Math

     Once a child is given the opportunity to develop his concept of number relationships and understands that numbers can be taken apart and put together, they will have a more efficient way of learning their math facts.  Children who use their math facts to solve problems, use the relationships between numbers to solve unknown facts.

You can use flash cards in a variety of creative ways to help your child build number sense rather than simply relying on memorization.

  • Use flash cards to tell a story problem for the equation shown.
  • Create a memory game, write the equations your child needs is learning on one card and the answer on another.
  • Roll dice and add or multiply.  Play Yahtzee!
  • has fun games to play and build fluency. Give Bowl-A-Fact a try.
  • To help your child organize the math facts he is learning, you can sort the math the cards into two piles, Math Facts Mat.

Building Fluency_ Math

I wrote a post about  Building Math Fluency  in May if you would like to read more about number sense and computation.  

Hope you found the information and resources helpful.  I will return to writing about art next week.


Published by

Maria Arana

Hi, I am Maria, a mom to three wonderful kiddos. My family and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. We love the beauty of the desert southwest. I am a former primary teacher and elementary math coach. I love to encourage my children to follow their interests and passions. At Guided Learning Studio, I offer private personalized lessons and enrichment classes. Tutoring services are best for families seeking long-term educational support over a semester or school-year.

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