We explain what a number sentence is and also how primary-school children are taught to write number sentences (or to fill in gaps in number sentences) in KS1 and also KS2.

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A number sentence is an plan of numbers and also symbols, such together the following:

6 + 7 = 1345 - 6 = 398 x 9 = 7248 ÷ 8 = 6

There was a time as soon as teachers would refer to the native "sum" as soon as using any kind of of the above, but this is confusing for children, as words "sum" is a term that have to only be supplied when talking around addition. 


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Children start learning exactly how to write enhancement and subtraction number sentence in Year 1. castle will more than likely start learning about addition by making two groups (for example: 5 bananas and 2 apples) and also putting lock together. They then construct towards functioning out exactly how to write these numbers and arrange them through the symbols + and = to make a number sentence that makes sense.

In Year 2, youngsters start to create number sentences because that multiplication and also division, so they require to know the symbols: x and ÷ and be may be to compose them.

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Working v number sentences in the classroom


At any kind of time in an essential Stage 1 or 2, teachers may show youngsters a native problem and then ask castle to create the number sentence that goes through it, for example:

I have actually a £5 note. I invest £3.20. Exactly how much money execute I have left?

On showing kids this problem, a teacher would most likely ask what procedure the youngsters need come do: add, subtract, main point or divide? They may then ask castle to create out the number sentence that they will certainly be delivering out to job-related out the problem, which would certainly be:

£5 - £3.20 = 


Children may also come across number sentences with gaps in them. In key Stage 1 they might come throughout something choose this:

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and it is in asked to work-related out what walk in the gap.

These will acquire progressively harder in vital Stage 2, because that example:

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Sometimes youngsters will be offered number sentences whereby there space two operations on every side, because that example:

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Here, they need to know that since the left hand side equals 16, the appropriate hand side needs to equal the very same amount, since 20 - 4 = 16, the number in the void should be 4.

They might be offered a number sentence prefer the one above, yet where there is not one price to placed in the gap:

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Here, it may be a good idea to try a number out in the first gap, because that example, 10:

10 + 20 + 10 = 40

We understand that 5 x 8 = 40, for this reason 8 might then walk in the various other gap.

A teacher might then ask youngsters to uncover as numerous other possibilities as they can.

See more: What Is The Perimeter Of 1/4 Acre In Square Feet In A Quarter Acre?


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