*Developing strong number sense skills are crucial in young children as it supports their future understanding of more complex math concepts.*

To develop number sense in the Early Years, children need opportunities to learn and experience number in different ways. They need repeated experiences to help them make sense of what can be quite abstract concepts for them to build fluency in number.

In this post I'll be concentrating on learning the different representations of number. All the teaching tips and strategies you need to build number sense to 20 can be found in our series of building number sense of posts.

### TEACHING NUMBER SENSE TO PRESCHOOLERS

There are many aspects to number sense but four are of greatest importance in preschool and kindergarten -

- quantifying
- counting
- number representations
- early operations (addition and subtraction)

#### QUANTIFYING

Quantifying or subitizing as it is also referred to, is the ability to be able to see an exact quantity and quickly identify the number without having to count. Knowing that dots on a dice represent a number is an example of how we subitize. Experts agree it's one of the first math skills to develop and is a precursor to counting then used as a shortcut to counting. You can read about teaching quantifying in this earlier post.

#### COUNTING

Counting is the ability to match a collection of objects to a number. This might firstly be done by one to one correspondence - touching each object as they are counting. The act of counting links the concrete (cookies on a plate) to the abstract (the numeral or number name) as the child learns that the last number uttered is the amount of objects counted. This post might provide some helpful teaching ideas for learning to count.

#### NUMBER REPRESENTATIONS

Sometimes referred to as number recognition or identification, number representation is the ability to match a number with a quantity.

That

*eight*is the same as*8*and same as ðŸ‚ƒ#### EARLY OPERATIONS

### DIFFERENT REPRESENTATIONS OF NUMBER

There are many ways number can be represented and young children need to become familiar with these all if they are to become fluent in number.
The earliest representations being numeral - 8, number word - eight, and quantity ðŸ‚ƒ

But later come tools like ten frames, tally marks and number lines.

But later come tools like ten frames, tally marks and number lines.

To help my children learn and practice recoginizing these many different representations of number, I created this number sorting activity for class.

The idea being they can be used as a sorting activity for your morning tubs or math centers.

Or used as posters for display in classrooms as children learn about number.

I've created 12 different representations of each number with the intent this activity can be used over and over again by picking and choosing which cards to include for sorting.

You might start with the simpler representations of number - word, unifix cubes or counting bears, books or fingers to count then as you introduce other math tools to your class - tally marks, ten frames or number lines, you can use this as a math center again to practice sorting those representations of number.

I've also include other commonly used math equipment like dice, dominoes and MAB blocks for working on place value in the set of 12 sorting cards.

With the teen numbers, the some simple addition is also included as one option to sort along with tens and ones, 2 x ten frames, tally marks, dots and jars of jellybeans.

Again there are 12 different cards to sort to the number mats - you pick the ones most useful for your class or small group at the time of use.