I watched a student struggle with a number line problem earlier this week. The question said something like What number is represented by the letter A and most of the numbers on the number line were missing. Interesting thing was, she drew nice little hops, like the ones shown below, but she didn’t know what to do with them. In other words, where I have written in +2, +2, etc., she wrote nothing. When I saw her draw the little hops, it reminded me of how we routinely teach kids to show patterns, which you also see below. We show them to draw little mountains and write how the numbers have changed. Perfect strategy for number lines as well, because number lines are, after all, patterns. So that was my ah ha moment for the week!