Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Number Lines and Counting Lines Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about my 'aha' to the importance of number lines as an effective tool in math. You can read that post HERE.

So what.......... now?
My first question is what do I call it- a number line or counting line? I Goggled counting line and counting paths, I didn't get much, just tallies and things to count. It's like borrowing in subtraction. The correct term is regrouping. But if you call it that most parents don't know what you're talking about. I don't want to get too technical and confuse my little ones. So for now it's a  number line.

My next question is how can I use the number line as a more effective math tool?
I loved the quote in an article by Kathy Jones that said, "the more linear a child's mental number line becomes with time, the better he or she is at remembering numbers." Isn't that the main focus in first grade- remembering numbers aka NUMBER sense? 
I like to start off with a very concrete number line.
I have one of these and I love it. You can get it on Amazon.com HERE.
It's a vinyl, step-by-step, walk-on number line 1-20. It comes with suggested activities and your kiddos will love it. I have my kids count forwards and backwards on it. We also do addition and subtraction as well as greater and less than.

It's also fun to go outside with sidewalk chalk and draw your own number lines.
I found this great site with cool activities you can do with the number line. It's on eHow Mom. Click HERE.
Another great number line you can buy is this one from Lakeshore.
Number Line Math Activity Chart
It's great for teaching addition and subtraction.
I also use rulers for addition and subtraction. It's very concrete. I have to be careful though that it doesn't become a crutch.

My kids need to become familiar with the number line by doing LOTS of practicing with it. So I put together a little packet with 6 activities. There are fun task cards where the kiddos have to find certain numbers on the number line or do different tasks. They can be a springboard for students to make up their own task cards too. They also put together a number line. You can use part or all of the number line and it goes to 120. You can check it out. Just go to my sidebar where my shop links are and click.

So what...... now?
I think it's time for a GIVEAWAY! I haven't done one in a while.
If you are one of the first 3 to comment on this post, I will give you my Number Line FUN packet. Don't forget to leave your email address.

Hey, I'd LOVE to hear how you teach and use the number line. I'm always looking for new ideas.
Thanks everyone for stopping by!

P.S. I'm now on Facebook. I'd LOVE you to follow me! HERE


Suzy Q said...

I started using the number line (never knew about a counting line till yesterday!) to show addition and subtraction. We used the frog hopping analogy, which seemed to make it stick.

tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

Cherie said...

I could totally use this!


Angie said...

I'm always looking for new ways to use a number line or counting line with my students. I'd love a copy.

Tammy said...

Shoot I am always a day late, a dollar short, and 1 comment late! Lol The pack looks great.
First Grade @ Storybook Cafe

Unknown said...

I was thinking the same thing Tammy - Oh well. I learned a lot from your post. Thanks for sharing with us. I can't wait to use what you posted.

Meganoakes said...

Man, I should have checked my email instead of enjoying an afternoon nap! Thank you for sharing your insight. I have the lakeshore number line and love it for teaching addition and subtraction. I want the vinyl numberline!

Unknown said...

Thank you for clarifying the difference and explaining the importance of each. I know I will be a better teacher next year because of this. Thank you!

Wintaka said...

You are making me a much better math teacher. Thank you. I missed out on your freebie, but I am going to get going on making use of my new knowledge.

Heather said...

I love this! I used number lines (well counting lines) alot last year for adition, subtraction and especially skip counting.