Getting Started with Number Sense

I encourage every grade to begin the year with physical skills and building vocabulary.

Physical skills develop as we build word walls, develop attribute language by touching and describing materials, build dot cards, lay out sorts, trace ChunkitZ.

Physical skills are a key component of the tasks in these 2 articles by Constance Kamii. 

 Kamii Article: Tasks to build reasoning

Kamii Article:  Line Up Fives

Try playing line up the fives and using some of the other tasks she sets out. Once students know how to “play the games”  some students might be able to use them in independent centre time. REMEMBER AMERICANS Talk GRADE LEVELS and curriculum very DIFFERENTLY THAN WE DO. When you read the articles just think early numeracy skills.

TRACE, TRACE, TRACE: Develop a rubric for tracing and stick to it.

When kids make mistakes say: NICE TRY, TRY AGAIN.

Trace faces of 3D objects

Give feedback on pictures of tracings. Try to keep your lines straight. Make your corners meet!! The grade ones above were given vocabulary cards to match to their tracings. This is six weeks of regular discussion and practice. The student work to the left has red highlighted to point out edges. The student to the right used green dots on either end of the “edges” to indicate the line represents an edge.

Grade one tracing objects

This student traced all 6 faces of a cube. Ask him or her to match the cube to the faces traced to see how he or she moves the cube to match.

Trace Chunk itZ to build physical skills as students puzzle and explore number.

Chunk Kinder not accurate
The pieces do not fit accurately. Nice try, try that tracing again, please.


Thinking and Reasoning Matter:

Start your year with sorting, describing, explaining. The What does not belong cards can be used to develop vocabulary and apply it in a reasoning setting. Which set does not belong and why? See the Kindergarten page for more.

Sevens cards chart
Chrysanthemum sort

Gr 1 sort 3 dots

Loops 3