Sunday, 2 October 2016

Representing Numbers

It's time to start using school space effectively.  This week I was working with some teachers who were working with English Language Learners who were struggling with number and word representations to 20.  We discussed subitizing cards, dice and fingers.  I offered to use the stairs as a teaching tool.

Instead of just counting the numbers as students went up the stairs, we discussed using visual representations mounted to the risers:

Visuals can include numbers, tallies, ten frames, finger counts, dice dots or words.  When I created these templates, I used my own fonts to write the numbers.  I wanted them to look like they were handwritten and not a type set.

As numbers increase, the students will see that their value does as well.  Visual representations may be changed as the students master them.  As well, two or three cards can be placed simultaneously on the risers.  

Another fun way to use these is to start with a number prompt and then have students skip count.  The cards were created from 0 to 10 with visuals and then 11 and up to 1 000 000 with words.  Additional tally cards, finger count cards, and ten frames are used to represent the numbers as they increase.

I often start at a number other than 0 to count on.  For example, you could start at 10 and have students count up.  

Laminating the cards is recommended as well as using clear hockey tape to mount them.  


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