Building Number Sense One Manipulative at a Time
As an upper elementary teacher with experience in early education, I recognize the value of helping students develop a strong sense of numbers at an early age. It’s important to devote a lot of time to working on combinations. I recommend setting up stations featuring a variety of manipulatives and having children work through these stations in order to gain experience with building simple addition combinations and sentences related to one single-digit sum. I suggest students work on the same sum for 2-3 days; this allows the students time to internalize the notion that numerical amounts (sums) can be made up of smaller sets: it also offers practice with math facts. When children have a good understanding of the number they are working on, I advise having them move on to the next number. Since students work at their own pace, individualizing instruction comes easily.
This article was featured in the March 2012 issue of the Classroom Connection Newsletter. Read more great articles from that edition below. Want to get the monthly newsletter delivered right to your inbox? Sign-up for Really Good Stuff emails.