There are two things I love in math – activities which build number sense and puzzles. There is a great need to promote number sense in our classrooms – especially at the elementary level.
British researchers studied low, middle, and high achieving math students solving problems. What was the difference between the low and high achieving students? High achieving students used number sense to understand and solve problems.
Kwame Sarfo-Mensah shared three great numeracy activities in a recent Edutopia post which are great.
- The Hundred Challenge – Students use four given numbers (i.e. 1, 4, 6, 8) to create equations which equal each of the numbers from 0 to 100.
- Do Now: Equation or Expression of the Day – Students solve an equation which represents that day’s date.
- Cryptarithmetic Puzzles – Digits are replaced by letters, and students have to solve the letter/number puzzle.
I’m excited to try some of these with my class. They might need to be adjusted a bit for elementary students, but they’re too good not to try.