Saturday, October 26, 2013
Color the correct number, the importance of 10 frames and other number sense strategies!
In Pre-K and Kinder working with numbers is just as important as word work. We spend alot of time talking about manipulating letters for reading but not much time talking about manipulating numbers. Sure counting forwards and backwards is important but if you cannot identify what number comes before or after then there is a problem. Leaving holes like this in the learning of numbers and math strategies can cause frustration for children later in their education. Count and color is an excellent way to help children understand one to one correspondence and how to stop counting at a certain number. I have often found in my classroom that when you ask a child to count objects they either skip, go to fast or cannot stop till they get to 10. These habits all need to be worked on before they become a permannent way for the child to work with numbers. This also brings in the importance of 10 frames, having a child place one object in each box allows them to decifer between each box and the objects don't all blend together. It has been proven that word walls with frames allow the children to focus on one letter instead of focusing on the whole wall, this is also true for numbers. Whether or not the frames are labeled with numbers the framing of the object alone helps create a stopping and starting point for each object or number helping the child to slow down and count one at a time. Using worksheets like the following can help you identify which students are doing well and which ones are struggling with number order. Being able to cut, move around and place the numbers in order helps the child to solidify the learning of this concept. This child is able to put numbers in order and to stop at a number given when coloring letting me know that they understand the concept and are ready for the next level of number sense. With these next two worksheets you can see that these 2 students are on 2 different levels. One choose to count and color each graphic letting me know that they did in fact count and can distinguish between one object and a group of them. on the other papaer you can see that while this child may have counted they chose to color straight through the whole group of objects, this can be attributed to laziness on the childs part or they cannot distinguish between each graphic which would indicate the inability to count one at a time if the answers are wrong or a possible visual problem. Identifying small groups without counting, counting manipulatives to match a number card, putting number cards in order, reading the room for numbers/number words and identifying numbers before and after are all critical thinking skills for success in math. The inability to identify numbers and sets quickly can seriously inhibit learning in math later in education. In the classroom if a teacher asks what 3-1 is and you do not know that subrtacting 1 results in the number before 3 then you are stuck counting and working while the rest of the class has moved on. This skill for adding and subtracting is crucial for learning more advanced math skills and for keeping up in the classroom. This skill needs to be so automatic that only a second is needed to solve and move on. We can also not dismiss the importnce of patterns, graphing, size/shape and attribute comparisons, basic fractions and number identification without counting. In order for a child to have sucess in math throughout their education they need all of these skills plus the essentials that come with each grade. It is imperative that those of us teaching 4-5 year olds help to solidify as much of these skills as possible before our children move on. These worksheets and number sense activities can be found in various units I have created for TpT and TN. These worksheets in particular are from my Interactive Worksheet Bundle, use the following links to go directly to them: Interactive Worksheet Bundle Teachers Pay Teachers Interactive Worksheet Bundle Teachers Notebook For 10 frames and other number sense learning check out each of my themed units to get exactly what you are looking for. I hope this post helps us as teachers and parents understand that the understanding of numbers is just as important as reading. Till next time, Christine