# Teaching about Number Lines with The Number Line Hop

The lesson this week in our math curriculum was about using number lines to solve subtraction sentences.  I believe that number lines are an invaluable tool when teaching students to add and subtract. Students learn so much from using a number line, but do not always know the proper way to use it.  I created this game, The Number Line Hop, to teach children the proper way to use number lines when solving addition and subtraction problems.

The first version of The Number Line Hop looked like the photo above. It was simply a series of 15 blank squares and I asked my students to create their own number line beginning with 0 and ending with 15.  I felt it was important that they “see” the way a number line is created.  It was also a time when I could assess their number writing skills and their counting skills. We talked a lot about writing the numbers the correct way (not reversed).  Not only was this task informative for me, but my students loved the chance to create their own game board.

Once the boards were complete, we talked about how to use the number line properly. The biggest message I wanted to get across was that when you use the line you begin counting at the NEXT number not the one you begin on.  Beginning on the number they are on is a very common mistake with first graders.  After the demonstrations, I partnered the children up and sent them off to play the game on their own.

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Materials: a number line game board, one frog piece, a die and an addition/subtraction rock. See the photo below.

Playing Pieces: For the frog pieces, I downloaded one of my very favorite printables from Picklebums.  I shrunk the frogs a bit, copied them onto card stock, laminated them and cut them out.

Addition/Subtraction Rocks: I spray painted the rocks with white primer and drew a + and – sign on each one.  When demonstrating the game to the whole class, I used a bean bag I had created that has the +/- signs sewn on. To see how other ways to use the bean bags, see our post 5 Fun Ways to Practice Math Facts

To Play: Students place the frog playing piece on the number line (they can start anywhere).  Player one tosses the +/- rock and rolls the die.

He then goes + or – that many spaces on the number line. For example, if the frog playing piece is on the 7 and the player rolls a 5 on the die and the rock lands on -, that player moves the piece minus 5 spaces being sure to move properly along the line. Player two then does the same. There are no winners or losers in this game.  It is simply meant to give students practice using a number line and for them to have fun doing it!

Note: If the frog is on the 0 and the player tosses the rock and it lands on the – side, he simply waits to try again on his next turn OR can try tossing it again to get a +.

I intended to keep the student’s number lines at school so they could play with them a few more times before sending them home, but they loved the game so much and insisted on taking them home that day! I still wanted to have the game in the classroom, so I created a few boards that I will laminate and keep with our other math games.

## Number Line Hop

Here is what my version of the game looks like.

I created blank boards for students to create themselves.

And I created boards that are already numbered.

There are 3 versions:  0-10, 0-15 and 0-25 for varying ability levels.

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# AFTER SCHOOL LINK UP

The After School Link Up is a great place to share ideas and to find new ideas to do with your children after school or in your homeschool.  The After School Link Up goes live every Monday. So, if you are a blogger, an educator or just someone looking for some good ideas, be sure to stop by Boy Mama Teacher Mama (or the other co-hosts) on Mondays and see what others have to share.

I had fun visiting the posts from last weeks linky party. There are so many wonderful ideas out there!

Here are a few of my favorites….

## Using Pumpkins for Learning in Every Subject from Kid World Citizen

A plethora of ideas for using pumpkins for learning.

And now the linky…

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## 2013 After School Party HOSTS

The Educators’ Spin On It

Afterschool for Smarty Pants

Boy Mama Teacher Mama

Coffee Cups and Crayons

Little Wonders’ Days

Mama Smiles

Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

The Measured Mom

What Do We Do All Day

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© Boy Mama Teacher Mama 2013