Teaching with the Number Track and Blocks

The Number Track is a concrete representation of the number line, giving children an understanding of the magnitude of “big” numbers. Children build numbers and play games on the number track, developing mental images of those numbers as they develop fluency in all operations.

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The number track is used to demonstrate:

The teacher instructs, 'drop the stop-and-go cube. If you get Go, you can put your marker on 1 times 10.' The child rolls the cube (like a die or flipping a coin) and says, 'Go! 1 times 10 is 10. I'm on 10 now!'

The 10-Table

The children discover the multiples of the 10-table by placing the 10-blocks in the number track, one after the other. They learn the meaning behind each multiplication fact as they state it in this game. This game is called "Stop and Go."


Introducing the Containing Aspect of Division: An Example

Children learn how to record and solve division examples. To discover how many times 5 goes into 15, children put 5-blocks into the number track until they reach 15. The teacher shows them where to write the answer 3 in this division algorithm.

The teacher asks, displaying 3 5-blocks on the number track, 'how many times does 5 go into 15?' The child responds, '3 times,' and the teacher says, 'Good! We put 3 above the 15.'

Order the Number Track »