Saturday, 24 January 2015

5 Effective Ways to Instill Number Sense in Kindergarten Math

Math is one of the most interesting subjects for kids. And it's also one of the most challenging subjects to teach for teachers. It's not because of the lesson itself. It's because of the way on how you impart the lessons to your students. Kids can easily acquire math knowledge. That is a fact. Tell them one plus one equals two everyday and after a few days they will say the statement themselves. But is that effective?

Repetition is a common teaching tool but it won't guarantee that the students will fully grasp the lesson. That's where number sense enters the picture. Only when the kids get to understand the underlying meaning of numbers can you be certain that you have effectively taught them those math lessons. What is Number Sense? Not all kids who know how to count develop number sense. Number sense is the skill in which the kids can identify the meaning of a number regardless of what is presented to them - be it through fingers, objects, images, etc. They would have to understand that the number five not just comes after four and before six. It stands for five objects in a collection regardless of what and how they look like. They should know that five can be derived by one and four or by two and three.

Number sense is the ability wherein they get to immediately respond that there are five objects in front of them without the need to count each of the objects. That is number sense and not all kids develop them. 5 Effective Ways to Instill Number Sense in Kids

  • Use images. Flash them the cards with drawings in it. Ask them what they saw and how many figures are there. It allows your class to have a great interaction. Your kids will defend their answers and tell the others why they think they're right and the others are wrong. You will not only get to understand how they think but they will get a lesson or two from their peers.

  • Play math games. One of the best ways to energize your kids and ensure that you have their full attention. It's a good way to develop their number sense. They'll be exposed to different ideas, different ways of how the numbers are applied. These games will help them develop a broader perspective. They won't be boxed in their learning.

  • Use actual objects. Experience is the best teacher. Bring different kinds of materials to your class. And let your students answer your questions by using those objects. Ask them to explain how they got that answer using those objects. Bring building blocks or balls or tiles. Let them demonstrate what is adding one to a pile of blocks. What happens to the total number in the pile? This helps them develop their line of reasoning.

  • Use diagrams. Let your kids fill in the missing picture in the diagram. For example, draw two dots and draw three dots. Put a minus sign and ask your kid to draw the answer or put a plus sign and ask your kid to fill in the missing figure. It gets them to think. They won't just resort to counting the numbers in a sequence.

  • Ask the kids. This is the most important out of all the method stated above. By asking your students how they got the answer, you can dig deeper into their line of thinking. Ask them how they got four and they'll answer truthfully. If they are able to say that it is four because I added this number and this number then, you know they have a grasp on the sense of the numbers. It's not just because well the counting stopped at four or because there are only four. You'll get a peek into their level of understanding.
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