Building Number Sense


By this time of the year, we expect that most of our students can identify the numbers 0-20. Even more important, though, students need to understand that those numbers aren’t just lines – they represent a quantity and they can take many different forms. That can be hard for a kindergartener!

Even our on-level and above-level students can struggle when it comes to teen numbers. Today i’m sharing some of my favorite activities for working on number sense with ALL of my students.

First off, one of my favorite ways to build number sense is to start representing numbers on ten frames. We actually did this way back in October, but we come back to this giant ten frame a lot, especially when we started learning about teen numbers.


I like this game from Mr. Greg at The Kindergarten Smorgasboard for more practice with ten frames! My students LOVE a good memory game and would seriously play this all day every day. Get it free here.


Next up is another favorite. Playdough mats! What student doesn’t like playdough? And I love that I can differentiate these (and all of these activities) for my below, on, and above level students.


Next up is Spin & Build. I like this and Tall Towers for my RtI groups and tutors. It hits so many areas at once!



For my above-level students, I like to spend time on subitizing and different ways to represent numbers. These puzzles are the perfect way to do that!



All of these activities and MANY, many more can be found in my Number Sense Intervention & RtI unit (which is definitely not just for intervention)! I use this unit literally every single day in my classroom, either in small groups, with tutors, or as centers.

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