Number Sense Examples Number Sense Examples In mathematics education, number sense can refer to "an intuitive understanding of numbers, their magnitude, relationships, and how they are affected by operations." Many other definitions exist, but are similar to the one given. Some definitions emphasize an ability to work outside of the traditionally taught algorithms, e.g., "a well organised conceptual framework of number information that enables a person to understand numbers and number relationships and to solve mathematical problems that are not bound by traditional algorithms". There are also some differences in how number sense is defined in math cognition. For example, Gersten and Chard say number sense "refers to a child's fluidity and flexibility with numbers, the sense of what numbers mean and an ability to perform mental mathematics and to look at the world and make comparisons." Researchers consider number sense to be of prime importance for children in early elementary education, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has made number sense a focus area of pre-K through 2nd grade mathematics education.

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An active area of research is to create and test teaching strategies to develop children's number sense. Number Sense also refers to the contest hosted by the University Interscholastic League. This contest is a ten-minute test where contestants solve math problems mentally—no calculators, scratch-work, or mark-outs are allowed. WHAT IS NUMBER SENSE Number sense "describes a cluster of ideas, such as the meaning of a number, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, the relative magnitude of numbers, and skill in working with them. "1 Number sense is not a discrete set of skills to be taught for three weeks in October or something that only those that are "good at math" have. It is a part of children’s daily mathematical lives and slowly grows and develops over time. In a problem-centered mathematics curriculum, number sense is closely tied to problem solving, as the children described above show. These children have learned, over time, that they are capable of solving problems and that they can play with numbers to make sense of a problem. They have used their growing number sense to develop strategies to help them solve problems.In Fennell and Landis’ (1994) chapter, Number and Operation Sense in the book Windows of Opportunity: Mathematics for Students with Special Needs, they ask this same question. What is number sense? Throughout the chapter, they give numerous answers to this question. Fennell & Landis state: [Number sense] is an awareness and understanding about what numbers are, their relationships, their magnitude, the relative effect of operating on numbers, including the use of mental mathematics and estimation" (p. 187).

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They are suggesting that students must understand how numbers relate to each other. Recognizing these relationships, as well as, the magnitude of numbers are very important aspects regarding number sense. Magnitude helps the students break down the problem and look at its relative size. In addition to these ideas, mental mathematics and estimation include the use of number sense. Students must understand and use the basic properties of numbers. For example, when students use the commutative property, they know that 20 + 10 is the same as 10 + 20. The determination, as well as, the ability of the students to estimate depends on the basic concepts of number sense. Fennell and Landis also define number sense as "the foundation from which all other mathematical concepts and ideas arise" (p. 188). They continue: "[Number sense] is good intuition about numbers and their relationships" (p. 187). Students with number sense can automatically tackle a variety of problems. They can break down the problem and use the numbers as references. In other words, they can make connections between their knowledge and newly learned mathematical concepts and skills. In general, they know how to make sense of numbers, how to apply them, and are confident that their problem solving processes will enable them to arrive at solutions.

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Number Sense Examples

Published on May 14, 2012

Researchers consider number sense to be of prime importance for children in early elementary education, and the National Council of Teachers...

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