How long have we teachers been saying that students lack number sense? Don't we say this every year? It's certainly the pattern in my experience. Truthfully, I haven't felt equipped to know how to fix the issue. Number sense has been nebulous and difficult to assess. Well, I've been digging deep into Christina Tondevold's number sense videos via Build Math Minds. She's inspiring and challenging me to know better so I can do better on behalf of my mathematicians.
Here are a few takeaways from her videos that are challenging me to approach number sense and math instruction from a new and better angle.
- Build knowledge through experiences.
- Number sense cannot be taught. It's caught.
- Relationships between numbers are more important than strategies.
- If kids don't have number sense, strategies are useless.
- Focus on sense, not strategies.
- Textbooks teach strategies and not sense.
- It's about fidelity to students, not a math curriculum.
- If kids have great number sense, they won't count as much.
- Counting can become a substitute for sense making and teaching them strategies won't fix this.
- Kids have to be able to subitize. Subitizing will move them from the counting phase to using derived facts.
- Kids must learn to visualize numbers.
- If not you, then who?