The problem is magnified when we consider that though students will study algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and calculus in upper mathematics, they are unlikely to encounter the mathematical sense for these courses in the years preceding them. Indeed number sense provides the foundation upon which we build the subsequent mathematical structure.
Fortunately there are simple strategies that we can implement to help students develop number sense. These strategies can be incorporated into your existing instruction with ease.
This is part one of a series that will explore the components of number sense and help teachers help their students grow mathematically. Though number sense is difficult to define, it is easy to recognize. Five components make up instruction in number sense. They are:
- Number Magnitude
- Mental Computation
- Mathematical Properties
- Effects of Operations
Brad Fulton is a veteran math teacher and nationally recognized educational consultant and keynote speaker. In 2005, he was selected as the C.L.M.S. middle school educator of the year.