# Maths to share - CPD for your school

Using number lines and hundred squares This issue will not tell you how to use number lines and hundred squares (there are lots of sites that will do that!) but it will help you to develop a critical understanding of the use of number tracks, numbered number lines, hundred squares, and empty number lines. These resources can be used to support learning and teaching in counting in the Early Years Foundation Stage right through to aiding mental calculation strategies and looking for number patterns in early algebra in Key Stage 2. Learning about number is a complex process for children and it begins with early principles of counting. Take time to refresh your memory of Gelman and Gallistel’s principles of early counting, upon which much of the academic thinking about early counting and much Government policy is founded, in Ian Thompson’s article in Issue 7 of the Early Years Magazine. Tim Rowland et al. (2009) highlight the importance of teachers having sufficient subject knowledge to be able to select the most appropriate examples and resources to support learning and teaching in mathematics. Many teachers use number tracks, number lines, hundred squares, numbered number lines and empty number lines to support counting and calculation. However, all these resources are subtly different and have different uses. Have you ever really considered the subtle differences between each of these resources? Is there a natural progression from one to the other? Ian Thompson suggests in his article On the Right Track (Autumn 2003) that there is, although he does acknowledge that some of the later stages would overlap. The Primary Framework site provides a set of posters that support the use of number tracks, number lines and the hundred square. You may want to print them off to support your planning when you have finished reading the rest of this article. Number tracks Number tracks with no zero are an essential starting point for children in developing their understanding of the ordinal and cardinal value of number, as they aid the understanding of 1-1 correspondence between numbers and squares. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

As children develop their understanding of larger numbers, they are often introduced to the hundred square, which when starting with one, is merely an extension of the number track: 1 11 2 12 3 13 4 14 5 15 6 16 7 17 8 18 9 19 10 20

it may be worthwhile putting the quantity of items underneath the number line to support the concept of cardinality. You could begin with a line from -5 to 20 and gradually increase in both directions weekly. Leicestershire LA provides a range of grids and ideas for hundred square activities. 13 or 15?' They can also be used to support the introduction of addition and subtraction and multiplication and division. Number line As children’s understanding of the ordinal and cardinal value of numbers becomes more secure. 'What is the number before 5?' 'What numbers are between 7 and 10?' 'What is one/more/less than 15?' 'Which is bigger. so that the children in KS1 are aware and begin to understand that zero isn’t the start of numbers. which gives suggestions for a possible progression of its use. We often. it is often considered time to move on to the use of a number line. Young children are aware of these through temperatures during our winter – or spring (!) months so it is helpful to capitalise on this in order to aid future understanding. and then help develop mental calculation strategies. If you are an EYFS and KS1 practitioner. This differs from the number track in that it starts from zero. Number lines starting from zero develop children’s understanding of the ordinal value of number supported with questions like. for example -20 to 100. It is often considered helpful to display number lines in the classroom that include negative numbers. build in a misconception for some children when we only go ‘on’ from zero and that makes negative numbers quite a mystery to them. but that numbers go on and back below zero.21 31 41 51 61 71 81 91 22 32 42 52 62 72 82 92 23 33 43 53 63 73 83 93 24 34 44 54 64 74 84 94 25 35 45 55 65 75 85 95 26 36 46 56 66 76 86 96 27 37 47 57 67 77 87 97 28 38 48 58 68 78 88 98 29 39 49 59 69 79 89 99 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 The hundred square has the added benefit of being able to count up and down in tens as well as sideways in ones. You might be interested in reading the Mathemapedia entry Ways of working with a 100 square. Also. unintentionally. . It is a more flexible tool for counting and calculating as it has an important role in developing children’s understanding of the importance of zero.

fractions. they are ready to use empty number lines. Have you ever thought of using an empty number line to support the teaching of time duration? Imogen arrives at school at 9. When they first start to number empty number lines it is important that they realise it is the marks not the spaces that are numbered. to ‘measuring’ intervals on a number line..15.e. Empty number lines were first introduced by the ‘Dutch school’ (Gravemeijer. How much time does she spend at school? Back to the hundred square.e. As discussed. It is worthwhile remembering that a counting stick can also be considered part of a continuous or ‘empty number line’ with clearly marked intervals along the stick to represents specific points. the hundred square is an extension of both the number track and the number line. Does the hundred square in your classroom start with zero or one? What impact might this have on children’s learning? Can you think of advantages and disadvantages to starting with one or the zero? What is the position of the first number? Is it in the top left hand corner? How could this lead to confusion for some children? How does your hundred square support learning when numbers bridge through 10? Have you ever considered cutting a hundred square into strips and putting them side by side to make a number line? Might this link help children that struggle to find their way around the square to know where to look as they count on in ones . An empty number line is a particularly useful tool to support children’s mental calculation strategies. number lines can be used flexibly to facilitate the understanding of negative numbers and non-integer numbers i. You could also look at the original version Teaching Mental Calculation Strategies: Guidance for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Teachers and compare the two. For more on this take a look at the new version of the QCA [now QCDA] mental calculation document. and decimals. which came out from the National Strategies Primary in July of this year. Don’t forget you can hold the stick horizontally and vertically. 1994). Empty number lines Once children have mastered number lines with marked intervals. depending on whether it starts with zero or one. from counting squares for number track. A number line encourages the shift from counting to measuring i.Later on.05 and leaves at 3..

In 0 . which discusses a resource that claims to be an extension of the hundred square called number cylinder.99 or 1 . rounding and adding and subtracting. which they call the number grid that can be used flexibly.100 rules OK? Ian Thompson argues that a 1-100 square is a more effective resources. Diakses pada 12 Mac 13 . References   Gravemeijer. It is argued that this can help avoid some of the issues above. In 1 . you could visit the NRICH website. The Primary Framework has one. Try not to restrict children to using the hundred square in the standard orientation.100? Midge Pasternack argues that teachers should be using a 0-99 grid as it helps with the understanding of zero. For some challenging problem-solving activities. T.org. Why not get involved in the Great Hundred Square Debate.from the end of its right hand side? You might find it interesting to look at two articles published by the ATM in Mathematics Teaching in which the authors discuss the merits and disadvantages of a hundred square starting with 0 or 1 respectively. for example a spiral grid or a zig-zag grid to look for patterns in numbers. Why not extend the use of the hundred square further by turning it into a 0 to 1 square with tenths and decimals? Children should be encouraged to examine grids of different layouts. Utrecht CD-B Press Rowland.uk/resources/27314 . Sage UK https://www. (2009) Developing Primary Mathematics Teaching: Reflecting on Practice with the Knowledge Quartet. et al. K (1994) Developing realistic mathematics education.ncetm. particularly with numbers that equal zero and place value. as it reinforces cardinality and bridging through multiples of ten. including changing the orientation and reducing and increasing the number of columns.