Daily Number Sense Activities

Number Sense

Daily Number Sense Activities are an essential part of  Math Lessons. Our Number Sense Building Activities & Printables are guaranteed to get results for any Student as part of your Daily Math Routine!

These number sense activities and math printables are really simple but we guarantee that they will work wonders with your kids’ Number Sense!

We have done a ton of research into the good, the bad and the ugly of teaching daily number sense activities so you can get the best results for your kids. 

Try our list of simple ideas every day. Spend just 5-10 minutes on these math tasks and you will see big improvements in your students’ fluency and flexibility with numbers.

Best of all you will see your kids change their own mindset about their abilities in math. They will transform before your very eyes to become more positive, confident mathematical thinkers.

They may even become lovers of math!

Before Teaching Number Sense

Before you rush into teaching these quick daily number sense activities, there are a couple of things I need you to know!

  1. Memorization & Speed Are Practice Activities 
  2. Hands-on Exploration & Investigation Comes Before Practice 

As a Numeracy Coach, I have spent way too much time trying to undo the effects of ugly teaching strategies on too many kids. Teaching strategies that focus on speed, rote, recall and practice BEFORE a concept has been taught and explored by kids are PURE EVIL.

These strategies will have kids stressed out, anxious and hating math in double quick time. And just so we are clear, memorization and speed is not an indication of mathematical ability, according to my experience and the research by Professor Jo Boaler!

“Brain science tells us that the students who are better memorizers do not have more math “ability” or potential but we continue to value the faster memorizers over those who think slowly, deeply and creatively – the students we need for our scientific and technological future.”

The effects of timed tests, and fast answers, whole class competitions, have terrible traumatising effects on kids. These types of math activities cause stress and anxiety and will isolate and exclude students from demonstrating their true abilities.

But worse than this, kids are often left believing that they are bad at math and are  “Not A Math Person” (Boaler). So they give up on math altogether because of their embarrassment at not being the fastest performer!

So please promise me you won’t do this to your kids!

Effective Teaching Of Daily Number Sense Activities

Number sense activities tend to have a habit of exposing math misunderstandings, gaps and misconceptions, especially during an Admin Lesson Observation!

So be prepared!  Effective number sense sessions don’t happen instantly. They may be a little messy and a tad stressful, at the start of the year. 

If they are not running smoothly and you find your students struggling don’t go off on a tangent. Don’t try to fix the problems in the heat of the moment. 

Just put the task aside and plan a teaching session to cover the concept at a later date. Daily number sense activities should be short and not take the whole lesson. In fact, they can be done at any time of the day!

For the concepts the kids find challenging make plans to teach them, either as a whole class or in a small group guided math session. 

The number sense tasks that your kids struggle with should never become part of your warm-up until they have been taught properly. 

Number Sense Skills

Here’s a list of the 5 components required for good Number Sense, as identified by the National Council of Teachers.

Number Meaning
Number meaning refers to the understanding of what numbers represent and their significance. It involves recognizing that numbers can represent quantities, positions, or labels. Developing number meaning involves associating numbers with real-world contexts and grasping their meanings beyond mere symbols. For example, understanding that the number “5” represents a set of five objects or that “2” represents the second position in a sequence.
Number Relationships
Number relationships focus on understanding how numbers relate to one another. It involves recognizing patterns, connections, and the relative positions of numbers on a number line. Students with strong number relationships can identify which numbers are greater or smaller, understand the concept of “between,” and recognize how numbers are related through addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. For example, understanding that 8 is greater than 5, or that 4 is one less than 5.
Number Magnitude
Number magnitude relates to the understanding of the relative sizes or values of numbers. It involves comparing and ordering numbers based on their magnitudes. Students with a strong sense of number magnitude can quickly recognize whether a number is larger or smaller than another number, without needing to count or perform calculations. This skill is essential for estimation, mental math, and developing a conceptual understanding of numbers.
Operations Involving Numbers
Operations involving numbers refer to the understanding and fluency in basic arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It includes the ability to apply different strategies for solving problems, recognize patterns in operations, and understand the relationships between the operations. Proficiency in these operations allows students to solve mathematical problems efficiently and flexibly, building a strong foundation for more advanced math concepts.
Referants for Numbers & Quantities
Referents for numbers and quantities involve connecting numbers to real-world objects, measurements, and quantities. It includes understanding that numbers can represent different attributes, such as length, weight, time, or money. Students with strong referents for numbers and quantities can make meaningful connections between numbers and the contexts in which they are used. For example, understanding that the number “7” can represent seven days in a week or seven dollars in a piggy bank.

Developing these five components of number sense is crucial for building a solid mathematical foundation in students. By nurturing number meaning, number relationships, number magnitude, operations involving numbers, and referents for numbers and quantities, we empower students to become confident, flexible, and proficient mathematicians.

Daily Number Sense Routine Activities

Number of The Day PowerPoint - Editable

Number of The Day PowerPoint - Editable

Foundation - Year 6- Number Sense - Editable PPTX

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Number of The Day PowerPoint - Not Editable

Number of The Day PowerPoint - Not Editable

Foundation - Year 6- Number Sense - NON Editable PPTX

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Number of The Day 5 Activities Pack

Number of The Day 5 Activities Pack

Foundation - Year 6- Number Sense - PDF

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Today's Number Display Pack

Today's Number Display Pack

Foundation - Year 6- Number Sense - PPXT

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Today's Number Math Centre Pack

Today's Number Math Centre Pack

Foundation - Year 6- Number Sense - PPXT

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Today's Number Teacher Checklists

Today's Number Teacher Checklists

Foundation - Year 6- Number Sense - Editable PDF

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