In first grade, students learn to count, order and compare numbers. Fingers are a great place to start, but as kids will tell you, they aren’t as effective once you get past the number ten! So, to help students order and compare numbers, teachers often use a number line. Kids use it to reinforce counting patterns and to understand place value. Sure, it’s elementary, but make no mistake—these mathematical building blocks help students as they meet the challenges of larger numbers and more complex problem solving.
So make your kid Master of the Number line! Build this game, and give her some hands-on practice ordering numbers. Here's how:
What You Need:
- Number line (write the numbers 20 through 40)
- 18 Number cards (showing numbers 21 through 39)
- Pencil and paper (optional)
What You Do:
- Shuffle the number cards and place them face down in a stack. Have your child pick up the first card.
- After she's looked at the card, ask her to name the number that comes before it. Then have her name the number that comes after it. If your child hesitates, you can rephrase the question by asking which number is 1 less (or 1 more) than the card she is holding.
- Using the number line, have your child check to see if she has named the numbers correctly. If so, she keeps the card. She can start a "winnings" pile to keep all of the cards she's won.
- Continue in the same manner until your child has looked at all of the cards. Ask her to count the cards in her “winnings” pile.
All done? Record the number of cards your child has won so that the next time you play the Number Line game she can try to beat her score!
Sally is an experienced educator, with over 14 years of teaching experience. In addition to teaching, she has also created educational materials, including ancillary, textbook, and test items, for Grades K-8 for major educational publishers.