Number Problem Solving

This was perfectly illustrated to me when a Year 5 child was trying to estimate the sum of two four-digit numbers before calculating the answer.

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The construct of number sense refers to a child’s fluidity and flexibility with numbers.Children who develop number sense have a range of mathematical strategies at their disposal.They know when to use them and how to adapt them to meet different situations.Appreciating number quantity is a survival instinct.When our ancestors were out hunting and gathering they needed to be able to perceive danger.So, if one animal approached a couple of hunters, they saw this as an opportunity for a meal.However, if 10 animals approached them, they ran, or they became the meal!Children with good number sense enjoy playing with and exploring numbers and number relationships.As a result of these strategies, they can often find the most efficient solution to the problem.They look for connections and readily spot patterns in numbers, which helps them predict future outcomes.They have several approaches to calculating and problem solving and can use and adapt these for new situations.

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