Building Flexibility With Magnitude of Number Using Number Lines

Visual number talk prompts that help build flexibility with the magnitude of number through the partitioning of number lines.

In This Set of Math Visual Prompts…

Students are given an opportunity to build more fluency and flexibility with partitioning number lines in order to deepen an understanding of the magnitude of number by plotting values on a 0 to 100 number line.

Preparing to Facilitate This Number Talk

This number talk can be facilitated using a chalk/whiteboard or using the visual number talk prompts provided below.

If facilitating without the visuals, use a metre stick to draw a line on the board. Label the line 0 to 100. Ask students to plot each of the following data points on the line using their spatial reasoning skills, presenting them one at a time and giving students enough think time before moving on to the next data point. 

Encourage students to talk to their neighbours and compare before they describe where you should plot your data point up on the board. This not only helps students solidify their own understanding of magnitude of number and spatial relationships, but also allows them to build their adaptive reasoning skills as they explain their thinking out loud.

If facilitating with the visual number talk prompt videos, you will want to ensure that you pause for each data point and encourage students to tell you where to place your finger on the line prior to revealing where the data point goes by continuing the video.

Visual Number Talk Prompt

If you are facilitating this number talk without the use of the visual prompt video, then you will prompt students to:

Draw a number line from 0 to 100.

Then, one after the other, prompt them to plot each of the following on the number line:










Throughout this set of visual number talk prompts, students will be invited to partition the number line into halves, fourths, fifths and other fractional amounts.

As students continue to plot data points on the number line, they will have the opportunity to partition the entire number line as well as smaller segments of the number line. 

Throughout this set of visual number talk prompts, students are able to leverage their spatial sense in order to strengthen their understanding of the magnitude of number as well as their fractional reasoning skills.

Want to Explore These Concepts & Skills Further?

One (1) additional number talk prompt is available on Day 2 of the Olympics Revisited problem based math unit that you can dive into now. 

Why not start from the beginning of this contextual 5-day unit of real world lessons from the Make Math Moments Problem Based Units page.

Did you use this in your classroom or at home? How’d it go? Post in the comments!

Math IS Visual. Let’s teach it that way.


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