Have Fun Building Number Sense: Play "No More"!


                                       
     Would you like to have a no-prep math activity that you can use with almost any grade-level? Would you like to feel confident that you're building number sense? How about knowing you're creating a segue into pre-algebra? If so, let's play "No More"!
     When I say "no prep", I mean it! Simply stroll to the white board or Smart Board and sketch this:

     Next, pick a number. I typically use the day's date at the beginning of the year, but you can pick any number. Write the number at the top.
     Now, challenge students to call out as many different ways as they can think of to "express" that number. This is a beautiful way to get used to identifying just what a mathematical expression is - another way to say a number. I always make an ELA connection here, explaining that I can refer to a child, say Jayden, with different expressions. I can refer to Jayden as, "Jayden", "Mr. Williams", "the boy closest to the door", "the guy in the red shirt", "one of my students", etc. In the same way, we can refer to numbers in just as many ways.
     As you get started, students will typically share fairly simple expressions although some students are ready for more advanced examples:
      You can help students by interjecting some expressions yourself. Remind students that they can use the word form of a number, the short word form, Roman numerals, and later on, decimals and fractions.
     My students would often hang out with the easiest expressions they could think of, like addition. As you notice one operation being used a lot as in the example below, write the operation in the "No More" column. This means that there can be no more addition used in expressions for the rest of the game! Yikes! Kids really start to slow down and think!
     They may head for the relative safety of, say, subtraction. Let them go a while, then lower the boom. No more subtraction!
     Continue playing for a few minutes, usually 2 - 5. Once you eliminate a third operation, you're really cooking!
     You get the idea. You're guiding students to think deeply about how to create a number and they're understanding the difference between expressions and equations.
     Consider adding this to interactive math notebooks, assigning it as a warm-up, and letting kids collaborate before they share. I'd love for you to try "No More" and let me know how it works for you!
Pat McFadyen
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[name=Pat McFadyen] [img=http://i1064.photobucket.com/albums/u378/designbychristi/blogs/Pat.jpg] [description=My purpose is to support YOU and your students with practical solutions and curriculum materials that teach, play, practice, and assess.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/GrowingIn5thGrade/)

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