Unlock the Number Line

Image by:  Tratong

It’s becoming more evident that the Common Core initiative is running at full throttle. Keeping that in mind, I’m now finding myself exploring different methods to introduce fundamental math concepts and create lessons that emphasize number sense skills. These number sense skills are especially needed at a young age and often influence how students perceive / achieve in math later in their academic career.

Having students explain their mathematical thinking is a big focus next school year.  By asking appropriate questions, teachers are able to analyze and give feedback in real-time to best meet the academic needs of each student.  After researching math strategies and participating in a variety of CCSS workshops this summer, I’ve concluded (at least partially) that the number line can be utilized for many math objectives at the elementary level.

Teachers that model the mathematical problem-solving process find that it’s beneficial. The visualization of a numer line can be useful, whether it involves the concepts of measurement (elapsed time), percents (finding discounts), algebra (inequalities) or fractions (computation).  A number line can be useful in solving problems related to any of the above concepts.  If the idea of utilizing a number line to solve math is introduced via classroom instruction, it may be beneficial to give examples of how it’s used outside school as well.

So.. how did you use a number line today?

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