Notable Numbers

Article excerpt

The "Math by the Month" activities are designed to appeal directly to students. Students may work on the activities individually or in small groups. No solutions are suggested so that students will look to themselves as the mathematical authority, thereby developing the confidence to validate their work.

This month's activities focus on number sense. Children with good number sense feel comfortable with numbers and recognize the many ways that numbers can be used. These activities will allow students to investigate probability, estimation, one-to-one correspondence, operations, measurement, logical reasoning, problem solving, and communication.

Mary Lou Damjanovich, maryloud@m.bvista.jordan.k12.ut.ns, teaches first grade at Bella Vista Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jane Martain,, teaches sixth grade at Mountview Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Hamm, Diane Johnston. How Many Feet in the Bed? Illus. by Kate Salley Palmer. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.




How many feet? In How Many Feet in the Bed? (Hamm 1994), a girl counts the feet in a bed as each family member climbs in. How many feet would be in your bed if everyone in your family got in? How many toes? How many feet, toes, and fingers? How do your totals compare with those of classmates?


In a minute. How many times can you do each of these activities in one minute: write your name, touch your toes, and snap your fingers. Think of other things that you can do in one minute. Share your idea with classmates, and try it out.


What makes 10? You will need a number cube, a ten-frame, and twelve counters. Roll the cube, and place that number of counters, one counter per square, on the ten-frame. Roll again. Did your two rolls equal 10, or were they less than 10 or greater than 10? Roll two more times to try to find combinations that will equal 10. Chart them. in how many different ways can you make 10?


What's your guess? Estimate how many pieces of breakfast cereal will fit in a three-ounce cup. Count each cereal piece as you put it into the cup. Compare your estimate with your actual count. Was your estimate close? How many pieces will fill a five-ounce cup?




Penny prediction. The 112 fourth-grade students at Edgemont Elementary School are planning to donate pennies to a local charity. About how many pennies will each student need to bring to school if they are to meet their goal of collecting $75? If your grade level was to donate the same amount, how many pennies would each student need to bring?


Triangular numbers. …