Hurray for number lines!

Hurray for number lines!

Who knew that number lines could be so much fun? Well my students and I found out just how much fun they can be during one of our recent math bag days.

We started our morning math by reading “The Line Up Book” by Marisabina Russo. This is a simple to read aloud book about a boy who is being called to eat his lunch but decides he needs to make a line of toys, books, and other things all the way from his room to the kitchen as his mother keeps calling him – “Time for dinner” calls his mother.

After reading our book, I invited the children to retell the story using our very long number line on the floor. The children worked together to place the math tokens they had brought from home along the number line kind of like the little boy did in our book – “Just a minute!” calls the little boy.

As the children lined up their math tokens, we had fun retelling the story. I would say “Time for dinner!” and the children responded with “Just a minute!” until all the tokens were lined up on our number line.

After completing our number line, the children helped me add the missing numbers.

And then we counted all of our tokens to see just how many we had brought today.

All throughout the process, I could see the wheels spinning as the children began to understand how the number line works. You know when you have one of those moments when you just get it right? Well this felt like one of those moments. Hurray for Number Lines!

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  • Suzanne Leclerc Posted February 1, 2017 7:49 am


    Where I’m able to buy this book and I’ possible to have the author’s name and the collection… Thank you !

    Suzanne Leclerc

  • Terri Posted February 2, 2017 5:14 pm

    Love this idea but have some questions. What are Math Tokens? If the students brought them to class, how did you ask families to send them in? For example, did you ask for a certain number of tokens? Thank you so much!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted February 3, 2017 2:47 am

    Hi Terri,

    My students do bring the tokens to class. They are simply small items that the children collect from home (like bottle caps or straws) and bring them to school in their math bags. We ask the children to limit what they bring to five tokens each week. You can read more about them here. If you do a search in the google search bar on my blog for “math bags” it will pull up a lot of what I have written on the topic. I hope that helps!

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