In this first chapter, the author outlines just what number sense is. It is important to tell yourself that number sense, in and of itself, is complex and that it has many layers. As you work with your littles in your classroom, you will see each working at a different level of number sense.
A little with strong number sense will demonstrate the following...
- A sense of what numbers mean.
- An ability to look at the world in terms of quantity and numbers.
- An ability to make comparisons among quantities.
- Flexibility, automaticity, and fluidity with numbers.
- An ability to perform mental math.
- Flexibility with problems.
- Automatic use of math information.
- An abiltiy to determine reasonableness of an answer.
- An ability to decide on a strategy based on the numbers in a problem.
As you can see from this list, number sense is something that takes time to develop and strengthen. The author states that it is a goal for students to "build understanding and to become numerically literate." We, the teacher, want our littles to apply number sense and to know when to use skills and strategies.
Chapter 1 wraps up with a brief section about the need to give littles ample oppotunities to work on their number sense. This means to use number sense in general and to discuss their number sense ideas and strategies with their peers.
Tara posted a few questions for us to answer after reading this first chapter. Here are my answers to those questions.
1. What is your current comfort level with teaching number sense?
Number sense is where my owls struggled the most this year, at least, this is what the data collected from MAP testing showed. At this point and with reading more about number sense, I am now aware of how complex it is. I feel like I will be able to provide my owls with more direct support, but am not 100% comfortable with all that is "number sense."
2. What have you already started in your classroom to build number sense?
This year, we did play around a bit more with dot plates, five and ten frames, and just brainstorming the different ways to display numbers. I have a feeling that this is just the tip of the number sense iceberg.
3. What have you considered adding to your classroom that will give your students that much needed "multiple exposures" component?
As I read this first chapter, I'm thinking that my calendar time or even morning work time could use a good number sense push. A daily piece that focuses on the qualities mentioned above.
Make sure to stop by Tara's blog to read what others have learned during this book study or to share along with us.