Thursday, 12 June 2014

Let's Learn Numbers - Teaching Numbers for the First Time

When it is time to start teaching your students numbers for the first time, you may quickly determine that they 'know' their numbers to 10. So many students come to school with the ability to count and recognise numbers up to ten and beyond.

But, I challenge you to look deeper into their understanding. When a child sees the numeral '2' and says '2' - they have mastered 'numeral identification' - but not necessarily a deeper understanding of the number 2. The 'number-ness' of 2 if you like. The 'two-ness' of 2. 

Little ones learn very quickly to say 'McDonalds' when they see a giant yellow 'M', and in a similar way, learn to say the word 'two' when they see a numeral 2. 

They also learn to say 'onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineten'. But can they count, and understand the quantity of what they count? Do they know the total quantity that represents the word they have said?

A good solid introduction to the numbers up to ten is essential for later mathematical learning.

I have recently updated one of the first sets of worksheets I listed at TpT - Let's Learn Numbers 1-10. 

This set has been designed to use with your class, for your first introductory lessons on number. They are also ideal for students that need remedial assistance. 

They work perfectly with your hands-on, active learning about numbers. With each worksheet, I would strongly recommend lots of practice, building, making, sorting, creating, grouping, and manipulating equipment to develop a solid awareness of the 'number-ness' of the number. Your students NEED lots of practice becoming aware of how the number 'feels' in their hands. What is FEELS like to make it and represent the numeral with actual objects they can touch. 

There are 5 worksheets for each number, sequenced to help develop the conceptual understanding that you can scaffold over the week.

I will explain the week, by showing you the '2' worksheets. 

On the first day, introduce the number. Practice counting as a class, asking students to point to a number line and match each word with a numeral. Note the focus number on your first counting. Point out the numbers that come before and after. 

Ask students to find things in the classroom that are in a '2' arrangement. Make groups of a variety of numbers to show your students, and ask students to tell you if it is '2' or not. Why? Is it too many, or not enough? On the worksheet, students try to find groups that show 2. The groups are shown in different arrangements. 


On Day 2, students need to create/build groups of 2 from scratch. Make the number with objects in the classroom. Ask students to make them at their tables with small equipment like counting bears. 

Also, do some activities on recognising the numeral 2.


On Day 3 students work towards understanding that 2 can be a part of a larger group. So, make some groups of objects to show students and ask them to select part of the group to show 2. You may like to give them piece of string to place around the part that shows 2. 


On Day 4 students work on completing part of a group to make 2. This is the beginning of an understanding of addition also. Students add more objects to a collection to make a number. Also, introduce the idea of representing the number with a numeral. Practice writing the number and the correct formation of the written numeral. 


For Day 5, the set includes 2 worksheets that will help revise the number you are working on, and the numbers you have learnt prior to this one. Students will need to recognise the numerals, shade part of a group to match the numeral, identify a numeral to match a set and finally, draw a set to match a numeral. 


The worksheets are clear, uncluttered and will focus your students attention on the numbers and numerals. 

I have included a cover page, so you can create workbooklets for your students to work through.


You can find this file in my TpT store HERE


You can download a free sample of this set, by clicking on the image below:


Find more great free worksheet samples, over at The Teaching Tribune for Worksheet Wednesday!