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What is 'number sense' and how does it affect mathematics learning?
In this issue, Lucy Rycroft-Smith considers the evidence around early number sense.
• Number sense is defined by counting, comparing and flexible thinking about number, although some researchers don’t agree on the exact definition
• Number sense is a foundation for maths learning
• Tests for aspects of number sense correlate strongly with later mathematical achievement
• Preschoolers generally learn about number in clearly defined stages
• Good number sense appears linked to high socio-economic status and these children also tend to go through developmental stages earlier
• Number sense can be improved by helping children make links and move between representations; board games can help