“To develop a deep and meaningful understanding of mathematical concepts, students need to represent their ideas and strategies using a variety of models (concrete, physical, pictorial, oral, and symbolic).” 1
Number sense requires students to engage in making connections among mathematical representations. These connections lead to a deeper understanding of the relationships that exist within and between numbers as well as broader mathematics concepts and problem-solving.
“Because of the abstract nature of mathematics, people have access to mathematical ideas only through the representations of those ideas.”2
1Ministry of Education, S. (2020). Retrieved 20 June 2020, from https://curriculum.gov.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/library/curricula/English/Mathematics/Mathematics_1_2007.pdf p. 17
2 Principles to actions; ensuring mathematical success for all. NCTM, Reston, VA. (National Research Council, 2001, p. 94