The ability to count rationally is the foundation of higher-level thinking and problem-solving. When young children first begin counting from 1 to 10 (or even 20), it first starts out as rote counting (memorized in a given sequence). Number sense is the ability to recognize that numbers represent a quantity and that numbers occur in sequential order.
The Number Sense learning mat provides your child with 4 different strategies to count. For the next level, the learning mat is a powerful visual tool to solve addition and subtraction problems. The strategies your child can utilize are:
- Counting with fingers. For children who are still working on their finger control or work better with a visual first as a model for using their own fingers.
- Create it. Create your own visuals with dry erase markers, play dough, or other objects of their choosing. With a defined space to represent two sets of quantities.
- Ten frames. Mark each box using math manipulatives (counting bears, counters, stones, etc.) or use a dry erase marker to mark each box to represent numbers less than or equal to 10 (and goes up to 20 for the next level).
- Number line. Visualize the sequence of numbers. Number lines are effective tools to demonstrate the concept of addition and subtraction. Can also be used as a reference guide to writing numbers.