Chapter 1 of the text (Sousa, 2015) addresses the foundations of number sense and how this ability
develops in humans. Unlike other animals with number sense, humans are separated by the ability to
count, which is influenced by numerous factors including language. Based on this week�s readings,
address each of the following:
� Sousa discusses how children learn to count. How did YOU learn to count? Who taught you?
Where and when? Did you use your fingers? Do you still use your fingers?
� Sousa outlines some of the glaring differences between Asian and Western languages when it
comes to learning how to count.
o If you teach, or plan to teach, at the elementary level, do you think your students would benefit from
learning numbers according to the Asian language patterns? If so, how could you incorporate these
patterns without having them learn a new language? If not, what are the drawbacks?
o If you teach, or plan to teach, at the high school or college level, how do you remediate students
who struggle with these basic counting and number sense skills?
� Select examples of strategies from pages 26-28 of the text (Sousa, 2015) that you currently use or
plan to use. Explain your rationale.
Word count: 353
I learned to count by using a counting chart. I recall that I used to point at numbers on
the chart during the counting process. Based on Sousa (2015), the brain imaging played a role
in my counting process. The image of the numbers enhanced my counting process. I only
used my fingers when adding or subtracting mathematical problems and not counting.
Presently, I do not use my fingers in the counting process. My mind has advanced to be able
to count large numbers and carry out addition or subtraction without using my fingers.
Moreover, technology has made counting much easier as there are calculators in different
devices that can be used in the counting process.
I believe that students will benefit at the elementary level to learn numbers according
to the Asian language patterns. My perception is based on Sousa (2015), analysis where the
Asian students excel in mathematics when compared to students who learn mathematics
using the English language. There are different patterns that I will incorporate into my
lessons to enhance their understanding without having them learn a new language. First, I
will concentrate on the repetition of concepts. Secondly, I will break down the syllabus into
short units. Lastly, I will introduce games and activities that will have them involved in the
lessons. The interest and alertness of the students during the mathematics lesson will improve
not only their comprehension of numbers but math as a whole.
There are a number of strategies that can be applied to remediate students who are
struggling with basic counting and number sense. The first one deals with using number
charts. The number charts have the visual aspect and are involving which improves the
students’ memory. The second one deals with encouraging students to read literature that
incorporates numbers. This makes them too easily associate language with mathematics. The
third one deals with coming up with various materials that represent numbers. These
materials can be dices, coins, cards, charts, spreadsheets among others (Sousa, 2015). The
materials require the active involvement of the students which increases their counting and
number sense at any level of their education.
Sousa, D. (2015). How the brain learns mathematics (2 nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin