How to Teach a Sense of Larger Numbers through Estimation

(This is a guest post from our friend Brandi, an elementary teacher who will share a fun classroom activity for promoting awareness of large numbers.) A Guessing Jar is one of my favorite activities for promoting number sense and an awareness of how large a number is. I love that it can be filled with anything small or large and right away we have a number activity that is unique every time. n order to allow everyone a chance to bring in something for the jar, I have each student bring in an item for the jar during their birthday week. Candy is always a favorite but it’s up to each child. I have had everything from candy to cotton balls to Legos. The first thing my students do is make their individual estimates. At the beginning of the year their guesses fall into a wide range of way too small to way too large, but by mid-year or end of the year the guesses are becoming more and more accurate.

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Helping Non-Readers to Excel in Numeracy through Technology

Difficulty in reading can spill over into other subjects, affecting student performance. Our mission is to make math accessible and enjoyable for all students, while helping teachers run effective, independent centers. For some time now, Happy Numbers has been working to add auditory directions to our online math exercises. This new sound feature allows students to click on the directions within any exercise to hear them read aloud. Now, your primary students can strengthen their math skills without being hindered by reading ability!

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Going from Concrete to Visual Representation: Combinations to 10

Every year when I start things rolling in my third grade classroom, I am amazed at the levels of abilities of my students. There are always a handful of students who, for whatever reason, are lacking number sense in big ways. This handful of students typically struggles with making combinations to 10. So I do what any teacher would do best, I re-teach, and re-teach, and re-teach. I always start with a concrete approach first. For example …

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Counting by Tens Matters: A Next Step in Place Value Understanding

How can you help your primary students make the leap from working with small numbers to becoming fluent with larger ones? One way they can start thinking in larger ‘chunks’ is by counting by tens. More than just an oral exercise, counting by tens is an essential skill that builds number sense, encourages thinking about number structures, and economizes counting and operations. Students with a strong conceptual understanding of round numbers, a ‘ten’, and ‘the tens place’ are better prepared to work with two-digit numbers and beyond. In this post, we will share the ideas behind our exercises in the topic Counting by Tens and some additional tips on reinforcing counting skills using Unifix cubes…

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22 New Exercises to Teach 2-Digit Numbers

We’re so glad you are enjoying our website and we’re excited to bring you a new topic to share with your students! Today, Happy Numbers released our newest topic, Numeration 21-100, to help bring young learners to the next level of mastery in numeracy. The 22 interactive exercises build on previous topics to address several important skills…

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How to Teach Early Numeracy Using the Number Line

While cubes and other manipulatives support learning by representing numbers, the number line actually develops learning by giving students another look at number relationships. Your primary students may find using a number line more challenging for some concepts. However, it’s important to stick with it as number lines provide learning opportunities for later skills that can’t be replicated with cubes, such as negative numbers, decimals, rounding and graphing.

That’s why at Happy Numbers we include the number line early and often throughout our exercises. In this post, we’ll share some of these activities that you can use with your class at different stages of learning…

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Your K-1 Students Can Do Algebra!

Although your primary students may be just learning to add and subtract small numbers, they can begin to develop algebraic thinking with this fun exercise. We’ve combined simple, familiar equations with helpful graphics to make algebra accessible to even the youngest mathematicians. These challenging but grade-appropriate tasks are a great way to encourage higher-order thinking while bringing depth and rigor to fundamental math skills …

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