Enhance Learning with Number Sense Routines

You might ask, “What are Number Sense Routines, and how can they revolutionize the teaching process?” Well then, let’s delve into what they are and the immense benefits they can bring to your classroom.

What are Number Sense Routines?

Number sense routines are a series of activities, targeted tasks, and engaging exercises aimed at helping learners develop a deep understanding of numbers and arithmetic. Designed to be fun and engaging and promote critical thinking, these routines make math seem less like a rigid set of rules and more like an exciting puzzle to solve. Think of it as your secret weapon for making mathematics engaging and enjoyable for your students!

These routines come in a variety of formats. Some might be short, 5 to 15-minute tasks curled into your lesson, while others might be standalone activities. The key is to make them consistent and regular fixtures in your lessons so your students become increasingly comfortable with making sense of numbers.

Benefits of Implementing Number Sense Routines in the Classroom

But why should you incorporate number sense routines in your teaching? Well, simply put, they are game-changers! Here are just a few of the benefits:

  1. Building a Strong Foundation: Number sense routines can help your students build a strong foundation for understanding more complex mathematical concepts down the line. By getting a solid grasp of numbers and their relationships, learners can better tackle problems involving arithmetic, algebra, geometry, etc., with great confidence and ease.
  2. Boosting Problem-Solving Skills: These routines help learners think critically about numbers and arithmetic operations. As they routinely encounter different problems and challenges, their problem-solving skills become sharper.
  3. Encouraging Active Learning: Number sense routines go beyond mere rote learning. Instead, they foster an environment of active engagement where learners are actively investigating, reasoning, and questioning. They also provide opportunities for learners to discuss their thinking and strategies with their peers, promoting collaboration and teamwork.
  4. Building Confidence: Regular engagement in number sense routines helps students gain confidence in their mathematical abilities. They become comfortable with numbers, simple arithmetic operations, and problem-solving strategies, encouraging them to tackle more challenging problems.
  5. Flexibility: These routines can be adapted to cater to different learners’ abilities and needs. This flexibility ensures every student is engaged and benefits from the activities regardless of their skill level.

Revamping your math lessons with number sense routines might appear daunting at first, but trust us, the benefits are immense. They help transform your maths lessons into engaging, active learning sessions that can improve students’ understanding of numbers, increase their problem-solving skills, and boost their confidence in tackling mathematics. So why not give it a go? Give your learners this invaluable tool to thrive in their mathematical journey and beyond. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

The Number Bounce Routine

Now, you’re probably asking, “What exactly is the Number Bounce Routine?” It’s a powerful number sense routine that, when incorporated into your daily syllabus, can significantly enhance students’ counting skills and broaden their understanding of numerical relationships.

How Does the Number Bounce Routine Work?

Imagine a game of ping pong but with numbers. That’s pretty much how the Number Bounce Routine operates! You start by setting up a numerical range, say from 1 to 50. Then, using a random number generator, generate a number within this range. This will be your “bounce” number.

The student’s task in this routine is to bounce up and down to or from that number. For example, suppose the bounce number is 20. A student might “bounce” down by counting backward from 20 to 1. Another student might “bounce” up by listing numbers from 20 to 50.

Additionally, you could introduce a “bounce pattern,” like bounce by twos or fives. This way, students get to exercise their growing skills in skip counting.

Encourage your students to be creative! They can bounce at a slow pace, fast pace, high pitch, low pitch, even in a singing voice! This not only makes the routine more engaging but also stimulates their auditory learning pathways.

Benefits of the Number Bounce Routine

Let’s explore some of the benefits that the Number Bounce Routine brings to your classroom.

  1. Enhances Counting Skills: This routine provides a fun way for students to practice counting. By bouncing up and down different number scales, they hone their counting skills, both forward and backward, and can easily recognize the order of numbers.
  2. Reinforces Number Relationships: The activity promotes a working knowledge of number relationships. When bouncing to and fro a number, students visualize the numerical scale, understand sequences, and see how numbers relate.
  3. Boosts Memory: Bouncing aloud and in various voices stimulates auditory learning, helping students retain knowledge more effectively.
  4. Engages Active Participation: The unpredictability of the bounce number piques students’ curiosity and introduces a play element that motivates them to participate actively.
  5. Encourages Peer Interaction: As students take turns bouncing numbers, they engage with each other, providing an excellent platform for them to learn from their peers.

Like any routine, the key to the Number Bounce Routine’s success lies in regular practice. Commit to it, and gradually, you’ll witness significant improvements. Your students will not only gain a firmer grasp of numbers and their relationships but also find math far more enjoyable.

To close off, remember, as Confucius once said, “Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.” So, involve your students in routines like the Number Bounce, and they will understand and relish the magic of numbers!

Counting Sequences Routine

You may have dabbled with number routines before, but have you tried your hand at the Counting Sequences Routine? It’s an addition to your mathematical toolbox that can dramatically help boost your number insight and the overall comprehension of numerical relationships in your classroom.

What is the Counting Sequences Routine?

Now, here’s what you need to know. The Counting Sequences Routine consists of simply counting aloud but with a twist. Instead of counting in the usual sequence of one, two, three, and so on, you count in various set numeral sequences.

For instance, you can count by twos, threes, fives, or even tens. What’s more, don’t limit yourself to starting from one. Initial numbers could be something else like seven, then counting up by threes: seven, ten, thirteen. You see, the possibilities are limitless!

The aim is to expose you to different sequences, making you comfortable and familiar with numbers. In an interactive environment, everyone counts in a particular sequence. It illuminates the patterns hidden within numbers and develops a deeper understanding of number relationships.

How the Counting Sequences Routine improves number relationships

Counting Sequences Routines provide an engaging way to bolster your knowledge of numbers. They’re more than just easy-breezy counting; they’re a trove of benefits that can dramatically improve your understanding of number relationships.

  1. Encourages Number Familiarity: By counting in various sequences, you familiarize yourself with numbers and their order. You’ll be surprised at how soon you start feeling comfortable with numbers that once seemed distant or unrelated.
  2. Helps Identify Number Patterns: As you partake in various sequences, you notice specific patterns or principles. For instance, when you count by twos or tens, the last digit of each number follows a distinct pattern. Noticing such patterns can boost your number sense significantly.
  3. Enhances Mental Math Skills: Counting sequences promotes mental math proficiency. Regular practice can help you master different addition patterns, making computations quicker and more accurate.
  4. Boosts Confidence in Mathematics: As your familiarity and understanding of numbers grow, so does your confidence. By recognizing patterns and improving mental computation, you build confidence in your mathematical abilities—a surefire ticket to excelling in future mathematical endeavors.
  5. Build Peer Support and Interaction: As everyone participates in the routine, it fosters a supportive, accepting environment. It can help you learn collaboratively by listening to each other count, correcting miscounts, and applauding successes.

In conclusion, the Counting Sequences Routine is a dynamic and beneficial strategy that provides the platform for a deep understanding of how numbers relate. Keep in mind that the fundamental ingredient in the recipe for success with these routines is consistency. Make them a part of your regular schedule, and before you know it, you’ll be a number maven!

Remember, as Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” So, get involved, immerse yourself in the Counting Sequences Routine, and unlock the joy of numbers!

Problem-Solving Routine

Alright, let’s dive into another powerful routine – the Problem Solving Routine. These practices equip you with strategies to face mathematical problems head-on and solve them efficiently. By making this routine a habit, you will build a solid foundation of skills that help foster critical thinking.

Introducing the Problem-Solving Routine

The Problem Solving Routine, as the name suggests, focuses on revising and improving your problem-solving abilities. It’s not solely about the right or wrong answers. Instead, it’s majorly about the journey there – the process. This routine encourages you to understand the problem deeply and explore multiple strategies and solutions.

Engaging in these routines frequently is an integral part of developing your mathematical prowess and enhancing your overall mathematical literacy. As you work through these routines, you’ll notice a gradual increase in your confidence and ability to approach problems from various angles.

Now, what does the process look like in practice?

Consider a mathematical word problem given to you. Instead of jumping in to solve immediately, take a moment to understand the problem’s context fully. Ask questions like: What is the problem asking? What information is provided? What strategies can I apply?

This phase, known as the exploration phase, boosts your understanding of the problem and provides a clear path to solving it. The illustration phase follows next, where you can visually represent the problem to deepen your understanding further. After these phases, you can confidently approach solving the problem, verifying your answers, and discussing different tactics and solutions with your peers.

Enhancing Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

Here’s the good news: the benefits of engaging in a problem-solving routine extend far beyond the math classroom. They’re essential skills that will equip you for real-life situations as well!

  1. Fosters Critical Thinking: Problem-solving provides plenty of opportunities to think critically. How do you interpret the problem? Are there multiple ways to solve it? What approach seems most efficient? Your ability to answer these questions effectively improves your critical thinking skills, not just in math but in every aspect of your life.
  2. Boosts Confidence: As you work through problems, apply different strategies, and find successful solutions, your confidence in your mathematical abilities surges. This confidence can seep into your approach to other areas of life, encouraging you to tackle challenges head-on.
  3. Encourages Persistence: Problems are often complex and demand time and effort to solve. By engaging in a Problem-Solving Routine, you learn the valuable skill of persistence – sticking with a problem until you figure it out.
  4. Enhances Mathematical Literacy: Finally, consistent problem-solving enhances your mathematical literacy – your ability to reason, analyze, and communicate about math.

Go ahead and incorporate this routine into your math practices. Remember, the key to seeing the benefits is consistency. Embrace the Problem-Solving RoutProblem-Solvingence the gratification of unraveling mathematical puzzles, all while boosting your critical thinking skills and becoming a more confident problem solver. Your journey into becoming a problem-solving whiz starts here!

Using Number Sense Routines in the Classroom

At this point, you are fluent with the concept of problem-solving Routines. Now, let’s talk about another impactful practice: Number Sense Routines. You will find these routines especially beneficial in building students’ confidence, understanding, and love for mathematics.

Importance of Using Number Sense Routines in the Classroom

Number Sense Routines are quick, engaging activities that help students develop a deep understanding of numbers, their relationships, and the number system, a fundamental aspect of their mathematical curriculum. These routines are not just about rote memorization of numbers or math facts. Instead, they provide a robust foundation for numerical fluency and flexible thinking, thereby enhancing students’ ability to solve complex math problems with ease.

Let’s breakdown why you break into implementing these routines in your classroom:

  1. Building Numerical Fluency: Numerical fluency doesn’t mean quickly rattling off multiplication tables. It denotes an in-depth understanding and capacity to manipulate and play with numbers. Number Sense Routines aid in strengthening this numeracy skill.
  2. Fostering Flexible Thinking: Remember, just as there can be multiple routes to a destination, there may be different methods to solve a math problem. Amid activities like composing and decomposing numbers, students learn to approach problems flexibly and creatively.
  3. Boosting Confidence: As students get comfortable with numbers and start understanding their properties, their confidence shoots up. They become enthusiastic about learning and face new math concepts enthusiastically.

Remember, as an educator, your goal isn’t just to teach math. You aim to build lifelong learners who can look at math to see intriguing puzzles, not intimidating hurdles. Incorporating Number Sense Routines in your classroom is one step towards achieving that goal!

Further Resources for Implementing Number Sense Routines

You might be wondering, “These wonders are promising, but how do I implement them in my class?” No worries. Let’s explore resources to help seamlessly implement Number Sense Routines in your teaching practice.

  1. Books: Jessica F. Shumway and Dr. Nicki Newton have written excellent resources on Number Sense Routines that provide useful insights, lessons, and strategies.
  2. Online Resources: Websites like Illuminations, YouCubed or the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics website provide a wealth of free, readily accessible Number Sense Routine activities and ways to implement them effectively.
  3. Educational Apps: Applications like Math Expressions, Number Sense Trajectories, and Number Talks can be fun, interactive tools to practice these routines.

As you start using these resources, remember that consistency is key. Make Number SencriticalRoutines a regular part of your math instructions, and watch your students develop into confident, flexible, and creative problem solvers!


Building a strong foundation in solid math is not just about solving problems; it’s also about understanding them, developing a relationship with numbers, and becoming flexible, confident thinkers. By incorporating the Problem-Solving RoutProblem-Solving Sense Routines in your classroom, you’re nurturing these skills in your students, helping them become adept in math and beyond! The journey might seem challenging sometimes, but remember, the end result is beyond. Start today and watch your students transform into mathematicians of morrow!