“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
When students make connections between mathematical representations, number sense is developed. 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. (2009). Retrieved 20 June 2020, from at https://www.edonline.sk.ca/bbcswebdav/xid-181799_1 p. 20.
2National Research Council. (2001). Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. p. 94 https://www.nap.edu/read/9822/chapter/5#94.