Journal/Book/Conference Title Title
Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics Journal
What Is Number Sense?
The primary goal for elementary and middle school mathematics is to help students learn to use numbers meaningfully, reasonably and flexibly in everyday life. This means that students must develop a deep understanding of
-- numbers and operations,
-- when operations can appropriately be used to solve problems, and
-- judging the reasonableness of their solutions to problems.
They also need to develop attitudes so they
-- believe they can make sense of mathematics, and
-- habitually try to make sense of mathematics.
In other words, students need to develop number sense.
Understandings Needed for Number Sense
To develop number sense related to a specific topic students need to have a deep understanding about
1. when to use that topic in everyday situations,
2. how to represent that topic in multiple ways, and
3. how to think and reason with that topic in multiple ways.
Department of Mathematics
Original Publication Date
UNI ScholarWorks, University of Northern Iowa, Rod Library
© 2009 Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The copyright holder has granted permission for posting.
Rathmell, Edward C., "Meaningful Distributed Instruction— Developing Number Sense" (2009). Faculty Publications. 10.
First published in Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics Journal, v. 36 (2009), pp. 4-21, published by Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics