Mathnasium 9866 Brewster Lane, Powell OH 43065 (740) 236-9100

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News from Mathnasium of Powell - Math Tutoring

Building Number Sense at Home

Jan 13, 2020

One of the most fundamental concepts in mathematics is understanding relationships between quantities (greater than, less than, equal to) and connecting that knowledge to numerals and operations in order to interpret the information in ways that are meaningful. This set of skills, often referred to as “number sense,” is a critical part of our Mathnasium curriculum, but there are plenty of ways to support number sense at home, too. We recommend the following activities to help students develop their understanding of numbers in ways that are fun and meaningful to them:

  1. Play a Guessing Game - This activity can be done in the car, at the dinner table, or while you’re waiting in the lobby of the dentist’s office. It starts with someone saying, “I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 100. Can you guess what it is?” Those doing the guessing then ask questions to narrow down the range, such as, “Is it more than 20? Is it less than 50? Is it even? Is it prime? Is it divisible by 5? Is it a multiple of 3?” By using the language of math to classify numbers, children begin to truly understand what the numbers mean and how to use them in a different context.
  2. Counting Change - Give your child an opportunity to help you count all of the change you’ve been saving up in that jar on top of the refrigerator. Show them how to sort the coins, discuss their values, and then practice counting by 1’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 25’s. You can sort the coins into other quantities as well to practice counting by other values (groups of 3 pennies allow you to count by 3’s, etc.), or you can demonstrate equivalence in values (5 pennies is the same value as 1 nickel, etc.).
  3. How Many Steps? – Take turns estimating how many steps it will take you to reach a destination, and then test the estimate by counting the actual steps. For example, you might say, “I think it will take 20 steps to get from the front door to the couch in the living room.” Allow your child to then count how many actual steps it takes to reach their goal, then ask questions like, “Was our guess too big or too small? Why do you think that happened?”

Want to help your child build an even stronger number sense? Schedule an appointment with Mathnasium today at