Bob Krech is an incredible math teacher from New Jersey. Here, he shares a strategy for encouraging students to talk about the character traits of numbers -- a key skill students need to be able to understand and work with numbers in more complex ways.
Just as Harry Potter has external traits (brown hair, glasses), internal traits (brave, kind), and social/cultural traits (orphan, wizard) so do numbers. He writes: "At this point, I write the numeral '7' on the board. I invite students to think about the characteristics of '7' using the three categories again: outside (composed of two lines, one diagonal, one horizontal), inside (odd, prime, can be created by adding 6 + 1), and social/cultural (7 days in a week, 7 continents, 7 as a number on a clock and a phone)."
Have you tried something similar in your classroom?