Teaching numbers can be tricky business because there is more to teaching numbers than just counting. Many times parents will tell us that their child “knows all the numbers to 10.” What this really means is that their child has memorized ten words and can say them in order (i.e. counting). But more often than not, the child struggles with number recognition, number writing, understanding the concepts of what each number represents, and how to compose and decompose numbers. Like I said, teaching numbers is tricky business! Today I am excited to share with you tips and ideas for teaching numbers to 10.
One of my favorite ways to introduce numbers is with interactive anchor charts. An interactive anchor chart is one that is created and built in class with the help of the students. Not only does this help to engage them in the lesson, but when they later use the anchor chart for reference they are better able to remember the lesson because they were a part of it.
On each anchor chart, students are introduced to the written number and the number word. We start out with just the big number. Before adding anything else we practice tracing the number. While one student traces, the rest of the students point and air write the number. Every time we trace and air write we also say the number. Next, it’s time to add the written number in a couple of different fonts and in word form. This allows students to see the similarities in the written number even though it will look a little different depending on the font.
Then it is time for the favorite activity: building our number friend! Each number friend allows us to practice counting to the number. We count out the number of eyes, arms, hands, legs, shoes and buttons. The students LOVE creating these silly numbers.
We finish off the chart by adding pictures of sets of objects that match the number. This is a great time to see how students are doing with counting and 1 to 1 correspondence. You can even have students add their own drawings of sets, numbers, tally marks or words.
As we learn each number, we also learn a special number chant. We review this chant everyday during our carpet time as focus on the number.
Hands-On Number Practice
After learning about the number, what it looks like, and how to count it out, we then begin our hands-on activities with the number. It’s these hands-on opportunities that really help our young students begin to grasp what each number resents. The more opportunities we can give them to work with the numbers, the better. Until they have mastered the number concept, I really don’t think there can be too many opportunities.
1. Number Hats
We love creating wearable learning tools! The students love to wear their creations and it gives them opportunities to explain what they have learned too! These number hats are no exception.
On each number hat, students will work on number identification, the number word, ten frames, and counting out sets. Students love adding sets of cotton balls, stickers, pom-poms and more to their wearable number creation.
2. Number Practice Pages
Since hands-on number activities is key, we work with numbers in a variety of ways. These number pages allow students to work on counting out sets in different ways.
These pages are great to use as whole class practice or perfect for adding to a math center. I love to print and laminate the “Put Just . . .” number mats and keep them in math centers with a variety of manipulatives. As we learn new numbers they are added in and students can review all the numbers we have worked on.
3. Making Personal Number Friends
Remember that silly number friend from the interactive anchor chart? Well, creating one is a highlight to our learning numbers activities. Students love creating their own number friend.
Creating the number friend will reinforce number formation and identification with the body, and practice counting out all the parts. The students love being able to use their own creativity to place the eyes, arms, legs and buttons. They can make it their own. It makes a great addition to a math journal or to take home and explain to family.
4. Identifying Various Forms
Learning to identify numbers in all its forms is another task that is really important for our students. Students will love working on number form identification with this fun Dot it activity. Students will work on identifying the target number which will be presented in different fonts. Learning to recognize the number in different fonts helps to prepare them for identifying the number in the real world.
It’s also important that students learn to identify groups of objects as a number. As students work with sets and groups they begin to be able to compose and decompose numbers. Subitizing is also a great activity for learning to identify numbers in sets. Your students will love sorting picture cards to identify different numbers.
It’s also important for students to learn to identify the word form of numbers. We love using emergent readers to help students learn number words. While students are learning to read numbers, working on writing the numbers is a great connecting activity.
Save Time with Teaching Numbers
There’s no shortage of fun activities for teaching numbers on the internet and Pinterest. But I also know that you are busy, very busy. So I pulled together all these classroom tested activities and resources for teaching numbers to 10 and put them in one place. You can find a packet for each number or you can grab this bundle with all the numbers to 10.
Just pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can quickly come back and save time when you need fun and engaging activities for teaching numbers to 10.