Sunday, May 8, 2016

Four Problems Teaching Children to Count

Learning to count is an important part of a child's development and should be lots of fun. Most children find it easy to learn numbers, but not all.

 You might see these problems... 
  • Children can't remember numbers after 5 unless they count on their fingers starting from 1. It is very slow and inefficient.
  • Eleven and twelve are hard to remember.  
  • Children to confuse 12 and 20. 
  • Non-English speakers say three-teen and five-teen instead of thirteen and fifteen
You should try these ideas...

Counting from 1 is not enough. Teach counting many different ways. Count down from 5. For example, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO!" Count down from 10 (Rocket Blastoff is a fun game for doing that.)
Count by 2s and by 5s and by 10s. Break the numbers into chunks (1 to 5, 5 to 12, 13 to 19, and so on). Play Number Slap.  If you do these things, children will become familiar with numbers in any order. They won't need to count on their fingers.

Teach from 1 to 12 instead of 1 to 10. Children will remember them much more easily. They will be able to start reading clocks. It will also make the next step easier (13 to 20) because they are all teens except 20. Children who start with 1 to 12 will not mix up 12 and 20, because 12 will already be firmly fixed in their minds.

Tell children who say three-teen and five-teen that those numbers are 'special', and introduce thirty and fifty at the same time.

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