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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Number Line---Making it Stick!

Our math series, like many, jumps around.  Our pacing chart follows suit for the most part.  So just when I think my students may have grasped a concept, and we move to something else.....and I go back to review......yep, we are back to where we started.  Hopefully no more! 

Some of my students have been struggling with using the number line.  
You know when you add 3+6 and they get 8?  
That's generally because they start counting at the number 3, jump 5 more spots, 
and that's the answer they give you.   
Today, we took the number line and made it concrete for my little learners.

I enlarged numbers, and slid them into sheet protectors (so much quicker than cutting and laminating). 

We arranged the numbers in order (great review of counting and using before/after). 

I wrote an addition problem down on my little dirty white board.

I had the students try to figure it out using their number lines.
I wrote down their responses (tallied them).

We talked about why it couldn't be 7 as 7 is just 1 more than 6.
They agreed that the number 7 could be erased. 

Then we jumped the number line. 
 I had the students walk up to the number line and tell me how to solve the problem.
For the example problem above:
Student:  I start at 4 and jump forward 6 places.
I caught him in between jumps both times.

We did this through several problems-
always having students try the problem first, then checking it by jumping it.
It was sticking--it was working.  

Then I did one. 
I did 5+5 and landed on 9.
They told me I was wrong.
They told me I didn't jump before I started counting.

So then we went back to our paper number lines---no jumping by us--but jumping by our animals.

I wrote several math problems on the board.
I asked them to solve it.
We went around the table.
I documented their answers, just like I did before.
They realized they were all telling me the same number.
Yep!  Yep!  Proud teacher here!

They were engaged, they were actively participating--
wish me luck tomorrow! I'm checking them on this again! :)



  1. cute, It is funny twenty years ago I did this with first graders and it works. I am so thankful math has come back around to more physical activity. I love seeing these fun ideas, it reminds me of ways I can help mystudents.


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