Math and our number sense

Not all math skills are learned in the classroom. Some of them come naturally.

By Susan Gaidos, 00:00 AM September 22, 2008

Not all math skills are learned in the classroom. Some of them come naturally. Consider the split-second calculations you make when you estimate the number of empty seats on the school bus or gauge the number of cookies in a cookie jar.

These ballpark estimates can often be done without counting. That’s because humans are born with the ability to approximate, or closely guess, the number of items in a group. Researchers refer to this trait as a person’s “number sense.”

Scientists have discover...

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