Tips to Easily Teach Number Sense to Younger Students
By Space Coast Daily // May 10, 2021
Right from preschool, your little kids are already learning how to use math to solve problems. You might not know it, but just conversing with your children at home and using the word “more” shows them how number sense works, and that “more” will get them extra sweets or playtime.
Your kids will learn that objects and the world around them can be compared and arranged in order of size, shape, and quantity.
Kids already have this basic idea of comparing things through mathematical concepts, and it is the duty of you as a parent, and the teachers, to sharpen these ideas into more theoretical concepts; such as the understanding of numbers. This is why number sense is a very important topic for your child to learn.
You might wonder how you can teach your child number sense to ensure that they do not struggle with mathematical concepts in the future. There are many online learning apps and math learning worksheets to help your children learn.
The strategies listed below should give you a clearer pointer on how you can support your child’s math skills.
Notice Everyday Math
Engaging with your child and having conversations about their daily activities is something that you shouldn’t skip. Introduce some math to the discussion. Ask them about the price of the items you bought at the grocery store, practice fractions while you measure out the ingredients for your baking, and point out the shapes you see on road signs and outside. If your children can relate math to the real world, they will be more eager to understand more.
Trust the Process
Most times, the goal is to just solve the math problem and arrive at the correct answer. We don’t pay attention to – or particularly care about – how we arrived at the answer.
Teach your child from an early age that the process is just as important as the answer. Encourage them to double-check their work after solving math problems, and go through their solutions.
Verbalize Math Concepts
Children learn better when they say things aloud; hence the many sing-along rhymes! After your child solves a problem, ask them to verbalize how they reached their answer, and they will be more likely to remember the process.
You may be tempted to lose your patience with your kids once in a while as you teach them numbers. However, you shouldn’t forget that numbers and math problems are a completely new concept to your kids.
Make their learning process easier and more enjoyable with math manipulatives such as value blocks, magnet manipulatives, and counters. These concrete objects help your children make more sense of numbers. If you want to give your math lessons a fun twist, you can use colorful candy-like Skittles to demonstrate addition and subtraction.
Predictions and Estimations
Help your child flex their reasoning skills. Place some candy in a jar, and ask your child to give an estimate of how many candies are in the jar. You can sharpen your child’s number sense with these simple tasks, and your child will make the connection between numbers and quantity.
If you hate math as an adult, you should be able to sympathize with your child if they have anxiety or a dislike for math. However, if you show your kids early enough that solving math does not have to be so difficult, you would save them years worth of struggling with the subject.