Friday, February 8, 2013

Early Number Sense

One in five adults in the United States is functionally innumerate; they do not possess the mathematical competencies needed for many modern jobs.  (Geary,  Hoard, Nugent, & Bailey,  2013).
In the three sections of MTH 222, Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II, that I'm teaching this semester at Grand Valley State University, my students are learning about research-based games that help elementary students develop number sense and gain a conceptual understanding of place value. An article in the Education Week blog Inside School Research features the results of a longitudinal study published in the current edition of the online journal, PLoS ONE. The study found that number sense is a better predictor of students' later math achievement than counting or other speed-based measures. The authors go on to conclude that "first grade number system knowledge predicts seventh grade functional numeracy" (Geary et al., 2013). As teachers, we must be prepared to assess and evaluate our student's early number sense. And, more importantly, provide appropriate intervention experiences that immerse our students in rich experiences that expand their early understandings of the relationships between numbers.

So, tonight I was doing a Google search for games that promote number sense--in particular a game called Part-Whole Bingo from Contexts for Learning Mathematics Investigating Number Sense, Addition and Subtraction. I came across a blog post I wrote on 'Mrs. Coffey's Classroom Blog' a few years ago when I was teaching 1st grade at Edgewood Elementary school at Fruitport Community Schools. What a wonderful surprise!

Here is the photo I posted on that blog on February 26, 2010.

I'll be using this game, as well as a few others, in my presentation at the  Math In Action 2013 Conference this Saturday at GVSU and introducing it to my pre-service teachers in class next week.

Geary DC, Hoard MK, Nugent L, Bailey DH (2013) Adolescents’ Functional Numeracy Is Predicted by Their School Entry Number System Knowledge. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54651. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054651

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