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 everyday. 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!
Not What You’re Looking For? Take a look at our other math printables & activities.
Before Teaching Number Sense
Before you rush into teaching these quick daily number sense activities, there’s a couple of things I need you to know!
- Memorization & Speed Are Practice Activities
- 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!
The effects of timed tests, and fast answer, whole class competitions, have terrible traumatising effects on kids. These types of math activity cause stress and anxiety and will isolate and exclude students from demonstrating their true ability.
But worse than this, kids are often left believing that they are 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 it 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 anytime in 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 Activities
Once you have a sense of what your kids can and cannot do plan to practice what they know in the 10 minute “Number Of The Day” slot. Here are just a few ideas for tasks and things for you to look for.
Remember you might need to reschedule a follow up lesson if you find your kids having trouble.
Usually this is displayed as the target number of the day but it doesn’t have to be. Try mixing things up a bit and be sure to you use the words ‘digit’ and ‘number’ interchangeably.
Watch out for kids who don’t know that, how we say numbers and write them are not always the same, e.g. teen numbers. It makes total sense to write 61 because we say six first!
Also known as the number names.
Watch for spelling, and again how we say numbers and write them are not always the same. Kids who write 1006 for 106 think that the word ‘and’ signals an extra zero.
This idea links to place value and standard and non standard partitioning.
Watch for problems when you write the expanded notation out of order. e.g 125 = 20 + 5 + 100
Many kids can write expanded notation because they are following a pattern and NOT place value understanding.
I like the kids to draw their base 10 diagrams rather than use magnetics. That way I can see if they truly understand how Base 10 materials work.
Watch for kids who think the 10 strip is one.
Watch for numbers over the decades and within the hundreds e.g number after 99, 109, 120, 199, or 1009, 1099, 1109
Also try interchanging your language to one more/ less, plus 1 ot minus 1, +1/-1.
Nice and easy if you know what these words mean in a math context. Kids may not know what an odd number is!
I like to set the parameters but let the kids draw the number lines themself.
The important point is that kids do need to be able to draw up a number line to help them solve a problem.
Number lines are a strategy and don’t have to look beautiful to work once you understand how to use them!
There are too many strategies to list but we have included many many more in our printables! There are two versions of our daily number sense activities for you. They are different so make sure you download them both!