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# Interactive Number Line Activities for 2nd Grade

Number lines are one of my favorite mathematical tools! There are so many creative ways to help students become familiar with number lines such as having students create their own, building one with hands-on materials, or writing them down in their math journals. Read more to discover an interactive number line activity your students will love!

## What is a Number Line?

A number line is a visual representation of numbers along a straight line. The number segments shown on a number line are spread out at equal lengths. There are open and closed number lines that primary grade students will become familiar with. Closed number lines are when they have specific numbers for their starting and ending points. Whereas, an open number line is the exact opposite where there are no numbers on an unmarked line.

## Why are Number Lines Important?

Number lines are typically introduced in primary grades and used to help build skills such as number sense, skip counting, addition, and subtraction.

Research has shown that number lines are a useful tool to build and promote good mental math strategies for early mathematical literacy. This allows learners to transition from concrete models to abstract learning.

## How to Use a Number Line

Students use number lines to help them skip count and add and subtract numbers. When counting on a number line, the place value of the numbers increases while moving right along the line. The numbers decrease and get smaller in value the further left they got on the number line as if students were counting backward.

## Interactive Number Line

My favorite way to introduce number lines and the number line concept is to have students actually participate in making one themselves with hands-on objects! This is a great way to tackle number lines with the whole group at once. Not only is it a great visual, but they are able to participate collaboratively by working together with their classmates.

Materials Needed:

## How to Create an Interactive Number Line

1. Place a long strip of painter’s tape horizontally on the floor to create a number line.
2. Use smaller strips of painter’s tape to create the marks for benchmark numbers.
3. Using a permanent marker, write numbers on the paper plates to create a number pattern.
4. Lay the paper plates under the marks.

## Ways to Use an Interactive Number Line

There are so many different ways to use an interactive number line! You can have students practice skip counting, finding the missing intervals, or even practice finding the sum or difference between two numbers all while using this simple number line!

Discuss if you have enough information on your number line to determine the missing numbers (letter plates). Some questions to ask would be:

• What clues can help us determine the missing number?
• Does anyone see a pattern?
• Is the missing number even or odd? How do you know?

Use dry erase boards to have students try and determine the missing number that represents the letter plate on their board. They can hold up their boards to show you the correct number.

As you can see, number lines don’t have to be boring! They are a great tool to teach essential skills to your young students. If you are looking for something fun to do to practice number lines in your classroom, be sure to check out Even and Odd, Comparing Numbers, Ordering Numbers, Number Lines 2nd Grade Guided Math Unit! There is an entire weeks worth of just number line practice included!

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