Hallway Number Line Builds Number Sense

A Dunlap Grade School goal includes creating an environment of numeracy for our students. I realize that this doesn’t just occur in the classroom and have made attempts to embed it through the building. Coming to visit, you may see flashcards on rings/hooks in the hallways for students to access during transition times and most recently, the hallway number line.



Developing a strong number sense is vital in the early success in mathematics. A “good intuition about numbers and their relationships develops gradually as a result of exploring numbers, visualizing them in a variety of contexts, and relating them in ways that are not limited by traditional algorithms” (Howden, 1989).

Number lines foster mathematical understanding in a variety of ways, including helping students understand that:

1)   Numbers represent quantities

2)   Spoken number names (“one,” “two,” etc.) and formal written symbols (1, 2, 3, etc.) are just different ways of referring to the same underlying quantities

3)   The quantities represented by the symbols have inherent relationships to each other (7 is more than 5, for example) and it is this property of the quantities that allows us to use the symbolic number representations to solve certain kinds of problems (putting objects in order, counting to determine how many objects are in a set, etc.)



This hallway number line can be an additional resource for teachers to access during transition times or at a point in their instruction when a life-sized model could enhance their instruction.

Additional models of mathematics will be included in the hallways and other common school areas in the near future.