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Daily Number Sense Activities {Every Teacher Needs To Know About}

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!

  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 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!

Drilling without understanding is harmful, I’m not saying that math facts aren’t important. I’m saying that math facts are best learned when we understand them and use them in different situations.

Building Number sense in the classroom image of boy counting on fingers

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!

Number Sense Flip & Cover Games 0-100

Our Numbers Recognition Flip & Cover Number Sense Games 0-100 Playpacks are perfect printables for Math Centers or Morning Work.

They can be used in small groups, pairs or by individual students from Preschool, Kindergarten, Prep & First Grade. They’re also perfect for your mini erasers too!

Just Flip, Find and Cover!

To Prep:

  • Print, cut, & laminate the base boards. Use the PDF print menu to print each board individually or 4/6 to a page.
  • Print, cut, & laminate the playing cards & attach to a ring.

To Play:

  • Turn over a card and cover the matching number with a counter or mini eraser!
This Unicorns & Rainbows Set helps kids learn to match digits to number names 0-100.
This Pirates & Treasure Set helps kids learn to match digits to quantity using Ten Frames 0-100.
With this Dogs & Bones Set your students will learn to locate numbers 0-100 on a number line.
Kids hate math? Try a Frayer Model think board! They are the perfect tool for assessing and teaching numeracy and getting kids to love learning math. There's 12 templates for Mathis in this kit with instructions.

Activities To Recognise, Build, Name, Say, Write Numbers

Below you will find teacher resources to help teach your students to recognize, name, say and write a range of numbers. From 1 digit early number recognition to numbers in the millions. Members, Click each image to download. Not a member…. Join today!

These Lego Bick Style Arrow cards are a perfect resouce for building number sense of numbers in the 10's of thousands. Your students can build, model, represent and say numbers using the arrow cards. We've included some basic game boards too in this SET 1. Instructions included! (Year 3 ACMNA052)
Set 2 includes 4 different baseboards for using the brick themed arrow cards. Includes instructions.
Lego Bick Arrow Cards ONLY to the millions!
These Basic Arrow Cards go all the way to the millions. There's a colour coded outline version and a black & white versions so you can colour code them using colour paper.

Investigating Properties Of Numbers

From Kindergarten To Year 6 students investigate the properties of numbers. From more & less to odd and evens, prime, triangular and composite numbers, these activities to build number sense are sure to be a hit with your students. Start downloading them now!

Use this Properties of numbers display pack to provide a visual scafold for your students. This set contains Posters & Banners for Prime, Composite, Triangular & Square Numbers. There's even a B&w template for your students to make their own poster versions too! Great for Year 6 ACMNA122
This Jellybeans center is a great activity for learning to identify Prime, Composite, Triangular and Square Numbers. Students test and sort the Jellybean numbers into the correct jar, based on the property rules. There's a student recording sheet too! Great for Year 6 ACMNA122
Teaching Factors & Multiples? Then you'll also need some resources for teaching the divisibility rules. This fun Sundae themed pack is a great math center activity that will students memorize & practice the rules for 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. It includes a colourful math center and a student worksheet too. Year 5 ACMNA098)
This divisibility rules display pack will look great in your classroom and help remind your students find factors and multiplies. There's a full colour version and a blackline template so your kids can make their own version too!Year 5 ACMNA098)
Your year 4 Students will love investigating the properties of odd & even numbers with this Sushi Master Math Center kit. There's 7 DIFFERENTIATED math center activities and student worksheets included. Your students will learn what happens to odd & even numbers when they are added,subtracted, multiplied & divided for outcome Y4 ACMNA071 or Years 5 & 6 revision.
There's 2 versions of this cut sort & stick worksheets for introducing Odd & Even Numbers in this file. Perfect for assessment too! Year 3 ACMNA051
image of burger themed activity for odd and even numbers
Your kids will love learning odd & even numbers with these fun burger themed clip cards. A great introduction into odd & even collections. There's a student worksheet to to investigate the conditions required for a number to be odd or even. Year 3 Maths ACMNA051
This is a set of Clip cards for students to practise identifying and applying the rules of odd and even numbers. The file includes numbers up to the tens of thousands! It's a black & White set so print the cards onto colour paper to colour code the difficulty. There's also a student recording sheet too! For Years 3 & 4
This is a set of Clip cards for students to practise identifying and applying the rules of odd and even numbers to skip counting number sequences.. The file includes numbers up to the tens of thousands! It's a black & White set so print the cards onto colour paper to colour code the difficulty. There's also a student recording sheet too! For Years 3 & 4
Comparing More & Less To 20 with this Bento Box Themed Math Center. Includes 81 cards to sort and compare. Choose either to compare with and without a ten frame.
Comparing More & Less To 30 with this Bento Box Themed Math Center. Includes 121 cards to sort and compare. Choose either to compare with and without a ten frame.
Number Recognition Printables 0-10
Teaching Number Recognition Trace, Make & Count Activities 0-10 using fingers, ten frames, digits, tallies words. Perfect Hands-on Teaching Resources For Math Centers! #numbersense #kindergarten (Colour & Low Ink). For Foundation Maths.
0-10 counting on fingers clip cards
Two versions of these counting on fingers clip cards. One with regular numbers and a second with decorative numbers. There's also a dark skin tone version. For Foundation Maths
These number before & After dogs are just the cutest activity to hel students learn before & after. We've also included a number lineto extend their number sense understanding to 1 more (+1) and 1 less (-1)! There are two sizes of the cards, one regular and a set that will fit in the portable photo keeper storage system, that our fans recommended to us. You can see this and more essential classroom resources on our Amazon Shop. This kit also includes 2 types of recording sheets & a Resource cover. For Foundation - Year 1
Comparing More & Less To 10 with this Bento Box Themed Math Center. Includes 54 cards to sort and compare. Choose either to compare with and without a ten frame.

Today's Number Activities

Implementing a daily Number Sense program into your classroom couldn’t be simpler, with these Number of the Day activities. There’s 2 to download. One for whole class instruction and one for your math centers.

This Pack Includes 4 Student Think board Activities: Number of The Day – 5 Spaces for 8 activities everyday of the School Week Number of The Day Thinkboard Today’s Number – 21 Tasks & Thinkboard. Wanted Number Poster Frayer Model Thinkboard – Definition, Characteristics, Examples, Non-Examples
Our Today’s Number Teaching Resource is a MEGA Kit of 48 Mental Math Problems including place value, operations, computation and number identification!
Today's number printables for Ikea Tolsby Frames, Centers & extra bunting.
Teacher Number Sense Checklists to help with tracking & reporting. Student checklist to keep them accountable!
Image & Form If Looking For A teaching Resource