# Number Sense: Visualizing

Visualizing

“Number visualization occurs when students create mental representations of numbers.”1  Students use concrete, pictorial, and symbolic representations to explore strategies and communicate their mathematical thinking.  When students use a concrete or pictorial model, that model is a tool that students use to make their thinking visible.

Students use visuals to make meaning of mathematics. Visuals that are familiar to students can also connect a new concept to prior learning. For example, number lines are a visual of number order that students use when working with whole numbers. When fractions or decimals are introduced that same number line, which is now familiar, can be used to build an understanding of how decimals and fractions can fall between whole numbers.

Students use visuals to make meaning of mathematics. Visuals that are familiar to students can also connect a new concept to prior learning. For example, number lines are a visual of number order that students use when working with whole numbers. When fractions or decimals are introduced that same number line, which is now familiar, can be used to build an understanding of how decimals and fractions can fall between whole numbers.

There are many different ways to represent numbers and representations can be used to focus student thinking on different concepts found within number sense.

Elementary Examples

Middle Years Examples

High School Examples

1Ministry of Education, S. (2020). Retrieved 20 June 2020, from https://curriculum.gov.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/library/curricula/English/Mathematics/Mathematics_7_2007.pdf p. 13