Number Sense

The other day I went to a terrific training on Number Sense. I mean, it was AWESOME! Some of the things we did I thought, "yeah, I do that". Other things I thought, "Yeah! Why didn't I think of that!" And last, there were times I thought, "Wow! I NEVER would have thought that!"

See, what I always knew was (is) that math is all around. I LOVE math, numbers, shapes, equations, logic stuff, etc... I actually am geeky enough that I create my own problems. Driving down the street I count windows on buildings. Sitting at a stoplight I count cars, multiply windows, divide into like groups, etc, etc, etc... So, understanding that math and number concepts are all around is NOT news to me.

What I kind of knew, but had to hear someone qualified say it before I felt I could acknowledge it, was that you don't need numbers to understand numbers. What I mean is, that I don't need to know how to count 5 things and count 10 things and know that 10 is more than 5. I know by looking at the two groups that one is more or less.

Math is language. I thought about this for a long time after the training. I think what we really mean by that is that, in order for us to understand what the children understand, we need them to develop their language. I think that LONG before language comes around, children understand number sense; they just don't know how to express themselves.

What makes sense, but I really didn't think about, is that we teach children math all wrong. See, we teach them to memorize answers, we don't teach them to come up with a solution. We don't teach the to figure it out. Those critical thinking skills that are so essential in all areas of life. THAT'S where we fall short in comparison to the countries that beat us in math test scores.

I have been trying for a few days to write this post for you. But, there is so much information, I just don't know where to start. So, I gave you a few tid bits. Things to get your brains thinking. If you attended the same trainings (or one like it) share with us interesting things that you discovered in the comments.

I will be trying to create another post with a clearer understanding; maybe it'll be a series. There is just so much fascinating information in this line of concepts.

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