TI-AIE: Using number games: developing number sense

What this unit is about

‘Number sense’ is a term that is often used but is quite hard to define. In general, it refers to a student’s ability to work with numbers flexibly and fluidly. Number sense involves giving meaning to numbers – that is, knowing about how they relate to each other and their relative magnitudes. It is also about the effect of mathematical operations on numbers, such as whether multiplication of a given number by another would make the number bigger or smaller. Having a sense of number is vital for the understanding of numerical aspects of the world.

Learning and improving your sense of number is a lifelong activity that starts with children. In school it requires exploring and playing with numbers, and being encouraged to think about patterns and relationships between numbers. In school mathematics this element of playing and having fun with numbers often gets missed out. This unit aims to address this by giving ideas for identifying and using number games as activities that offer rich learning opportunities to help your students develop their sense of numbers.

What you can learn in this unit