Last Updated on July 7, 2023 by Editorial Team
Teaching number sense requires systematic intervention to build this skill in children. It is why there is a well-thought process carried out in classroom sessions. Popular as a lesson plan among educators, this process schedule tells about how number sense will be taught in class. In simple words, a lesson plan is a written version of what happens in the class in actuality. In this post, we talk about various topics of number sense and a few popular examples of lesson plans.
Number sense – Learn what numbers convey
The number is a symbolic presentation of a quantity. Developing a sense of value represented by numbers is important for making various reasoning-based decisions. It is, for this reason, the number sense is a crucial topic to cover in the early years. Here is a list of topics that are distributed among teaching sessions and are taught through lesson plans:
- Counting 1-20: It is not simple reiteration of the numbers only. The students are given introduction of order and pattern idea.
- Comparison of values: In this lesson, children will be taught the idea of greater, smaller and equal.
- Number match up: Children match the quantity of items with the number given. Example, matching number 4 with picture of four bananas, etc.
- Grouping: Making sets of 10s, 20s, etc. to move kids from basic subitizing to understanding concept of bigger groups
- Addition and Subtraction: Number sense learning is applied in doing basic mathematical operations like addition and subtraction. It is intervened through picture cards, base 10 blocks, linking cubes, etc.
Understanding structure of a typical lesson plan – Components and Flow
The lesson plan for number sense is designed to ensure that the children gain intended skills once the session is complete. One can usually find the following components in the plan (Extracted from English Language Teaching and Testing Guide):
- Essential question: It defines the basic purpose of the class. For example, how can we establish numeric relationships?
- Lesson objective: It outlines the concept and the method that will be taught to address the essential question. A typical lesson objective may comprise ‘differentiate bigger numbers from smaller ones.’
- Materials needed: Since the preschooler or kindergarten students need practical and easily absorbable ways of learning, the teachers need to provide them with safe and easily wieldable materials. Typical examples include charts, number cards, flash cards, etc.
- Lesson discussion questions: Teacher drives children’s curiosity into the topic by giving quick introduction of what will be covered in the class. While lesson objective hints at the final outcome, lesson discussion tells about the way the outcome will be achieved. Teachers may give an idea of the activities planned for the day, and also explain or get ideas from students on how to proceed.
- Conduct small group activities: Some concepts may be intervened by conducting small group activities. Teachers make small groups and provide them with more relatable materials to help them get more tangible idea of a concept. For example, if the kids can’t understand the abstract value of a number using dots, they can be given number line or cubes or other similar manipulatives to carry out activity-based teaching.
The lesson plan for all number sense concepts comprises more or less the same structure. Let’s take a look at the most-followed examples of lesson plans to teach number sense.
Examples of number sense lesson plans – Core activities and options
1. Place value lesson plan
- Essential question: How the value of the digit changes according to the place in the number?
- Lesson objective: Use base-10 blocks to convey the abstract value of digit, or show chart to tell the place value
- Materials needed: Anchor charts, base-10 blocks, chips, counters.
- Lesson discussion: Teacher explains the ones, tens, hundreds and thousand’s place in a number and tells the use of base-10 blocks in determining the value.
2. Count by 10s lesson plan
- Essential question: How abstract value of number increases by adding?
- Lesson Objective: To teach the counting, and adding by 10 using counting chips and linking blocks
- Materials needed: Counting chips, worksheets, anchor chart as per the activity decided
- Lesson discussion: Teacher explains how the number value changes after adding 10 items to show abstract value and to acquaint with addition
3. Compare values lesson plan
- Essential Question: How number sense helps in establishing number relationships?
- Lesson Objective: To teach the concept of greater number and smaller number, before-after, etc.
- Materials Needed: Worksheets, charts, anchor charts, manipulatives for activities, etc.
- Lesson discussion: Teacher explains the idea of bigger and smaller numbers using dots, etc. A little introduction of idea of quantity is also provided by showing them values represented by various numbers. With the help of number talks, a disciplined way of exchanging ideas and learning also becomes possible to achieve.
How number sense lesson plans support teaching objectives?
A teaching session needs to be objective-oriented and there has to be a well chalked-out process to build the concept in a sustainable manner in growing children’s minds. By having a lesson plan in hand, teachers can accomplish the following objectives:
- Making the classroom session learning-driven: If the teachers are clear on what to achieve from the class, they can keep children pulled throughout the session; lesson plan helps them convey the objective clearly.
- Build concept progressively: Teachers can move kids through the learning process by unfolding the session in an interesting manner. By making classroom session a matter of intrigue, they can keep the intellectual curiosity alive in little learners.
- Engage children to learn: Activity plan is also an important part of lesson plan. When the kids are given the engaging introduction, and involved further with materials and demonstrations, they are most likely to stay attentive in class and concentrate better on learning.
Number sense learning is crucial for developing a base for advanced math skills. Using well-designed lesson plans, the teaching session can be made more streamlined. The purpose of a classroom session is to offer a disciplined, structured, and well-managed learning environment. Lesson plans help you achieve these virtues in your method of imparting learning.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,