Today I am sharing with you a number line tool you can make yourselves! This counting tool is perfect for young children that are starting to learn the concept of counting on a number line. It is a simple hands-on way to explain how to use a number line with the help of the visual and tactile senses.
PS- I made this number line tool only up to number 10, but you can go further too. Make one for each child in your class, or a few for the math center.
DIY Number Line
To get started, first gather your materials.
- Number stickers (or just write the numbers with a marker)
- A pipecleaner
- A bead
- Piece of cardboard (or laminated board)
Spread the numbers out first to see where you should stick them,. There should be enough space between the numbers that it does not look like one string of numbers, but individual numbers. (I did make small marks with a marker to show the individual numbers clearly.)
Make small slits under the first and last number. Add the bead to the pipecleaner and then push the ends of the pipecleaner through these slits and bend it so it stays put.
How to use your number line
Take a simple sum, for example, 2+3=? Show your child to move the bead to the number two, then move the bead 3 spots more/forward. Where does the bead end up? Number 5! So, 2+3=5.
Use this method in reverse for subtracting. 6-2=? Find the number 6 by moving the bead to number 6. Now move the bead 2 places back. Where is it now? Number 4! Thus, 6-2=4.
Use different mathematical terminology (more, less, plus, minus, subtract, back, forward etc.) in order for your child to understand the concepts.
Extend the Activity
Make a longer number line and use it for skip counting too!