April 2023 - Number Sense, It’s More Than Just Memorizing Facts

Developing number sense and automaticity begins with building conceptual understanding of number and quantity.  It is essential that students understand that math is verb based and not a noun.  The action of joining and combining  bridges to additive thinking, while removing a part of a set leads to an understanding of subtraction.  These are important first experiences we want students to engage with prior to memorizing basic facts.   As students continue to build their number sense they develop multiplicative/divisional  reasoning through experiences where they are joining, combining, and partitioning in equal groups.  

Using the standard algorithm is a great way to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division questions, but we need to ask ourselves is it always the most efficient strategy to use? Does it always make sense? Students need to learn to look to the numbers before selecting an appropriate strategy for any operation.  

You can support the conversation at home by:

  • Skip counting forwards and backwards 
  • Look for opportunities to add, subtract, multiply and divide quantities in daily routines
  • Estimate how many in everyday routines (how many cars are in the parking lot?  How many cars did we pass on our walk?  How many oranges are in the bag?  How many leaves on the tree?)


Celebrating the Many Global Contributions to Mathematics

Throughout human history, people from many cultures and societies have contributed to the continuously developing understanding of math.  As a part of each monthly newsletter, one of these many significant contributions will be shared in celebration of how diverse ways of knowing have shaped our mathematics today.

Did you know that the Zhoubi Suanjing is one of the oldest mathematical texts from China?  This book, which is over 2000 years old, contains astronomical observations and calculations as well as 246 problems with detailed explanations.  Written well before the existence of Pythagoras, there are several examples of its use and even a proof of the theorem that bears his name.

To learn more about East Asian Mathematics, please visit this Britannica web page.