Teaching and Assessing Number Sense

It is important for algebra students to know the characteristics of the different sets of real numbers, including natural numbers, whole numbers, integers, rationals and irrationals. They should be able to determine the smallest subset the value belongs, as well as all subsequent sets. Students should understand and be able to interpret the Venn diagram of the real number system.

I have included two documents here. One is for instructional purposes and may even be used for student notes. The other is a test that I have used with algebra students. The test goes a bit further than the instructional piece that I have included in that I also assess students ability to evaluate and operate using real numbers. Students will need to be able to apply the order of operations and integer rules to evaluate algebraic expressions.

Instructional Piece on the Real Number System RealNumberSystem

Algebra Test NumberSenseTest 

Instructional Strategies:

  1. Have students create a foldable to record this information. See instruction sheet Instructional Strategy Number Sense Foldable
  2. Create a large Venn Diagram on the whiteboard, provide students with notecards with a real number, one at a time have them place their card in the appropriate spot within the Venn.
  3. Create a large number line within the classroom. Provide each student with a real number written on a notecard and a clothes pin. Have students place their card appropriately on thenumber line. Once everyone has  finished, have each child call out their number, what set(s) the number belongs and why they placed it where they did on the number line.
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