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The Hood Magazine

Developing Strong Number Sense In Your Child To Help Them Excel at Math

Jan 25, 2017 10:45AM ● By Hood Magazine
By Mathnasium of Sioux Falls

Does your child have good number sense*?
To find out, ask yourself these types of questions:

  • Does he or she have a sense of what numbers mean & understand their relationship to one another?
  • Is he or she able to perform mental math?
  • Can he or she use numbers in real life situations?

Because math builds upon itself year after year in school, the stronger your child’s number sense is, the more likely he or she will be able to grasp new math topics with confidence & ease. 
Two Easy (and Fun!) Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Number Sense
Helping your child build their number sense doesn’t have to be nearly as difficult or boring as it may sound.  Here are two fun ways you can help your child build number sense at home this winter.
Hot or Cold Temperature Game
The United States is the only country in the world that measures temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (˚F). Everywhere else in the world, temperature is measured in degrees Celsius (˚C).

Have your child pick 2 or 3 cities in other countries and each week work with them to figure out if that city’s temperature is hotter or colder than Sioux Falls’.

Converting temperatures from ˚C to ˚F involves multiplying the temperature in Celsius by 1.8 and adding 32 to your answer. This can take a while to do in your head! However, we can make a quick estimate by rounding the numbers we use when converting between the two units. Rounding makes it easier to work with the numbers and do the conversion mentally. 1.8 rounded to the nearest whole number is 2, and 32 rounded to the nearest ten is 30. Now here’s what to do:

1.  Take the temperature in degrees Celsius and double it (multiply by 2).
2.  Add 30 to your answer. The sum will be approximately the same temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

Looking to convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius? Estimate by working backwards using inverse operations! Take the temperature in Fahrenheit, subtract 30, and then divide the answer by 2.
Make “Let It Snow” Cookies Using This Math Recipe
This recipe takes a little bit of math, but the yummy results are worth the extra practice!
Reduce each fraction to find the amount needed:
6/9 = _____ cup of shortening
12/18 = _____ cup of butter
9/6 = _____ cups sugar
24/12 = _____ large eggs
6/3 = _____ teaspoons vanilla extract
14/4 = _____ cups all-purpose flour
10/5 = _____ teaspoons baking powder
5/10 = _____ teaspoon salt
White or light blue cookie icing
Solve the equations in the baking instructions
1. Preheat oven to 7 × 50 = _____ºF.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Gently stir in the eggs and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; fold into the creamed mixture until dough comes together.
5. Lightly sprinkle flour on flat, clean surface—just enough so dough won’t stick.
6. Roll dough to 4½ - 4 = _____” thickness.
7. Use snowflake cookie cutters to shape your cookies.
8. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet at least 3,784 ÷ 3,784 = _____ inch apart.
9. Bake cookies for 600 to 720 seconds = _____ to _____ minutes until bottom sides are light brown.
10. Remove from baking sheets; cool on tinfoil or parchment paper.
11. Once cooled, decorate with icing snowflake shapes.
12. Share with friends and enjoy!
Bonus: Make Your Own Snowflake Cookie Cutters

You will need
• Tinfoil
• Scissors
• Paper and markers
• Stapler and staples

Tear off a sheet of tinfoil approximately 24 inches long. Fold it in half lengthwise. Fold it again 11 more times until you have a thin strip. Flatten the strip so that the edges will be able to cut through cookie dough.

Draw a hexagon on your sheet of paper the size you want your cookies to be; be sure the perimeter is less than 12 inches. Cut your strip of tinfoil into 2 pieces. Fold each strip of tinfoil so that it overlaps the shape on the page, and then staple the ends together. Now you have two snowflake cookie cutters!
* Definition of number sense from