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Number Sense in Children

In: Other Topics

Submitted By robeethomas
Words 1428
Pages 6
The Importance of Number Sense in the Elementary Classroom

Robyn Thomas

EDU

Instructor: Dr. Silvernail

November 2, 2011

Abstract

In today’s elementary classrooms, students are expected to think and speak on high levels of intelligence. Teachers are encouraged to set high expectations, to question and probe and to ask students to explain what they are thinking. This paper will focus on the importance of understanding numbers or possessing number sense at the elementary level. The idea that students should already have some number sense is controversial. Struggling students in today’s classroom in the area of math seem to lack a major concept, which is a basic math skill or understanding numbers.

What is number sense? Number sense refers to a person's general understanding of number and operations along with the ability to use this understanding in flexible ways to make mathematical judgments and to develop useful strategies for solving complex problems. Number sense develops gradually, and varies as a result of exploring numbers, visualizing them in a variety of contexts, and relating them in ways that are not limited by traditional algorithms. Most children acquire this conceptual structure informally through interactions with parents and siblings before they enter kindergarten (Marshall 2010) . Other children who have not acquired it require formal instruction to do so. For example, one child may enter school knowing that 8 is 3 bigger than 5, whereas a student with less well-developed number sense may know only that 8 is bigger than 5. Other children may have very well-developed number sense and may have a strategy for figuring out how much bigger 8 is than 5 using fingers or blocks. This number sense not only leads to automatic use of math information, but also is a key ingredient in the ability to...

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