Number sense

I recently found a
nice article
at Apples4theTeacher.com that summarizes 10 research findings as to what teaching practices and methods are the most effective. For example,

8) Teaching mathematics with a focus on number sense encourages students to become problem solvers in a wide variety of situations and to view mathematics as a discipline in which thinking is important.

What is number sense? It's something where the child is comfortable with numbers, knows what numbers mean, can do mental calculations, can connect numbers and real world situations, and can make comparisons.

Kids with number sense have built a 'mental number line'. They can tell that 11 is more distance away from 15 than what 14 is.

How can you help develop it?

Think how can children get to be FAMILIAR with numbers. It's when they have lots of opportunities to use them and to play with them.

Games are good. Observing how parents use numbers in daily life is good. Doing lots of calculations ('drill') helps too. And why not have the kids draw number lines. I'm sure you can think of other ideas (welcome to comment!).
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