The Number Line: Add, Subtract, Multiply & Divide! (#272)


A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
Day 272

For one year, 365 days, this blog will address the Common Core Standards from the perspective of creating an alternate, ambient learning environment for math. Ambient is defined as “existing or present on all sides, an all-encompassing atmosphere.”

And ambient music is defined as: “Quiet and relaxing with melodies that repeat many times.” Why ambient? A math teaching style that’s whole and all encompassing, with themes that repeat many times through the years, is most likely to be effective and successful.

As stated earlier, the ins and outs of the number line are quite complex. It’s really best to build a solid foundation of 4 processes skills up through long multiplication and division, multiplication tables’ fluency, and a good, working grasp of fractions and decimals before even touching on the number line.

Math By Hand devotes an extensive section to the number line at the end of the Grade 4 binder. In addition, a supplemental booklet that includes a brief history of numbers also provides a clear, handy set of rules for using the 4 processes with the number line.  This reference tool should be used as needed until all concepts are learned.

See below for two excerpts from the number line reference booklet and the binder.  The first is the multiplication section of the reference booklet, and the second is a sample of how a summary of the number line 4 processes would be reviewed and recorded in the student’s main lesson book.


And then on to your fourth grader’s love for adventure and fascination with the Norse Myth’s codes and symbols.  Here is a wonderful rendering of those from Rachel Britton’s Pinterest page.

Knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of knowledge as a worthy goal. Tune in tomorrow for the next in a series of posts on the Math By Hand number line lessons.

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