Number sentence

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In mathematics education, a number sentence is typically an equation or inequality expressed using numbers and common symbols. The term is used in primary level mathematics teaching in the US,[1] Canada, UK,[2] Australia, New Zealand[3] and South Africa.[4]


The term is used as means of asking students to write down equations using simple mathematical symbols (numerals, the four main basic mathematical operators, equality symbol).[5] Sometimes boxes or shapes are used to indicate unknown values. As such, number sentences are used to introduce students to notions of structure and elementary algebra prior to a more formal treatment of these concepts.

A number sentence without unknowns is equivalent to a logical proposition expressed using the notation of arithmetic.


 A valid number sentence that is true: 3+10=13. A valid number sentence that is false: 1 + 1 = 3. 
 A valid number sentence using a 'less than' symbol: 3 + 6 < 10.

A valid number sentence using a 'more than' symbol: 3 + 9 > 11.

 An example from a lesson plan:

Some students will use a direct computational approach. They will carry out the addition 26 + 39 = 65, put 65 = 26 + □, and then find that □ = 39.[6]

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