- How well do you visualise numbers?
- Seeing numbers is an essential skill for mathematics
- When you can visualise words, visualising numbers is even easier
Imagine the number 21. Check that you see the number still, just like you did the cat, balloon, or sophisticated in the previous exercise.
If you find visualising numbers easy,
- add the numbers 21 and 24. Do you see them in your head? What’s the result of the two added numbers?
- To remember a phone number, how would you organize it into 2, 3, or 4 chunks of 2 or 3 numbers?
- To remember a PIN number, see the group of 4 or more numbers. Or see the order in which you press the PIN number on a keypad.
- To remember start times of meetings, visualize the digital time, e.g. 12:30, or the time on the face of a digital or analog clock.
If you find visualising numbers difficult,
- try visualising the number 2. If that’s difficult, see 2 eggs. Then see the word eggs.
- If you like text messaging, imagine ‘nice 2 c u’ or ‘c u l8r’ If you can see that, you can visualise numbers!
- Have you ever used an abacus? Play with visualising the beads – of your favorite colors – when you want to add up.
Why are the numbers we use in the Western world of the shapes they are? They are derived from the Phoenician numerals which denoted the number of angles corresponding to the number written. The shape of the number 1 had one angle, the shape of the number 2 had two angles, and the shape of the number 9 had 9 angles.