Number lines can be used to develop understanding of number and help to develop competence and confidence for mental calculation at all stages.
One issue with standard number lines is the student’s lack of understanding as to what the line actually represents.
Teachers need to start with a more concrete number line where the quantities are evident. In Kindergarten, they construct quantity numberlines with materials – each stage of the number line is fully represented.
Quantity Number Line
Later, they should move to a number line where the actual squares are numbered, not the lines.
With a large number line like the one above, students can place counters on the actual squares. Later on, they move to number the end of the squares, which equates to standard number lines they use later. These number lines are also good for showing addition facts. This helps set the stage for open number line work later.