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Individuals Wooden Number Lines

Teacher Number Lines

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KENS Math Research & Rationale


“My students loved the foamies and number line rods we received and the flash cards. The rods and foamies I use in a small group setting while using the flash cards in my math stations.” – Kindergarten Teacher at Calder Road Elementary, Dickinson ISD, Texas

Number Line, Magnitude and Estimation Skills 

Helping students improve their ability to estimate and identify the correct location of a number on a number line is a unique and important part of KENS Math. The number line is also an important way to teach children how to calculate relative magnitude. For example, when a child see the spatial difference between five and eight on a number line, it is easier for the child to understand the difference between eight and five.

From brain studies to the classroom, research strongly supports lessons to develop a student’s number line ability. Support from brain research comes from an evaluation of the functioning ability of the brains of normal adults and patients with brain lesions. Researchers were able to determine that one way in which a number is represented in the brain is through a type of internal number line.  Further research has reinforced the view that a child’s ability to represent a given number on a horizontal number line is a critical component in the child’s overall number sense ability. For example, multiple studies indicated that a child’s ability to estimate the correct placement of a number on a number line was strongly correlated with math achievement at all grade levels.

Research has also shown that children with mathematical learning difficulties had greater difficulties accurately placing a number on a number line when compared with typically achieving students. It is also interesting to note that children from preschool through second grade with strong number line skills also had better number recall from word problems.

Five types of number lines are used in the KENS Math curriculum to shape students’ visual estimation skills by removing the supports provided by the numbers and tick marks.