Monday, June 18, 2012

Developing Number Sense: Let's Play a Game

I totally agree with the NCTM on this one and I do believe that with time and attention all students can gain solid mathematical understanding. But I will say that it is a challenge to provide the time that some students need. Our third grade math curriculum is jam packed and if we are to get students prepared for the state tests we need to keep a fast pace. Unfortunately, some students enter third grade with limited number sense.  I recognize how important a firm understanding of the number system is if they are to understand more than just a procedure to follow to get a right answer. 

Here is where I rely on guided math and math stations.  Here is a fun but effective number chart game to give students more exposure to patterns and number relationships.  It was one of my students' favorites last year.  Teach it in the fall and keep it in the rotation for the year.  I promise kids will want to play it and will stay engaged while you meet with small math groups.   When I introduced it I used cheerios to represent the flying saucers and they got to munch and play if they were being productive but after the initial teaching, we used small circle markers.

Would you like to give it a try with your kids?  It's free on  TeachersPayTeachers Come grab it here!

I know, I know, some of you are asking what's up with all the math posts! Actually math is on my brain since a friend and I are doing some math work on the side and it would help if some of you would/could review this game for me in a comment or email. I'd love to know what grade you teach and if you think this would be something that might help your students. Thanks a bunch!  I promise language arts stuff is in the works too!


  1. I enjoy your math posts. It's on my mind as well. The classes I've taken have sure stressed number sense. I know I can do a much better job of teaching it. This past year I read "Number Sense Routines." It's by Jessica Shumway I believe. It's filled with daily routines and warm-ups for K-3. I'd highly recommend it.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Thanks, Doris. I like it, and think it will be a good part of my Unit 1 Math Workshop.

    I have had math on the brain, too! I am still working on lots of other things, but I seem to be blogging about math!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Lifelong Learning

  3. I love this game and it is perfect for my school's space theme next year. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  4. Thank You! I'm currently working on September Math Centers for Third grade and this is a great one. It also helps with the cognitive tasks we're not required to teach for the Comon Core!

  5. I have taught 3rd for 10 years and I have decided to do guided math/stations this coming year. I need to extend the lessons for those that understand the concepts easily and assist others in catching up or practicing more. I will definitely use this game. Thanks!

  6. Tammy, I'm going to look into that book. I've not read that one! Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like we are all focused on math stations and diffentiating more next year. It's great to find supportive colleagues!

  7. Hello! Thank you, this seems like a great game for my 3rd graders! I have two questions about how the game works. Once the students discard their cards, do they then pick up as many as they used? Is this a two player game? How many "change" cards would I need to make for one game board? Thanks!!