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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dual Language Resource for Kindergarten

Here's a great resource for Dual Language Class parents to help their children at home. My friend, Luz, who is a dual language teacher shared it with me... and now I want to share it with you.

The website is

All these activities are available in English, Spanish, and German

When I was in Luz's class, I sat down at the computer next to one child. He had on his earphones and was working on his colors. He was merrily clicking on one color after another. I asked him, "Are you just learning your color names or are you practicing?"
"Practicing," he replied.

"Then try it this way. First, before you click on the color try to say the name of the color. Then click on the color and see if you are right. When you predict the color first, you find out how much you already know and if you need to practice that color anymore or not."
And then he tried it that way and rewarded me with a big smile.
It just reminded me that sometimes we need to teach children how to help themselves learn.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Learning Teen Numbers with Ten Frame Cards

It is very common for students to have difficulty with the numbers 11- 19. Their names do not follow a pattern and must be considered sight words/ numbers of mathematics. Teachers must ACTIVELY help students develop meaning for both the words and the corresponding numerals.

There are many intervention strategies to help students make sense of the "teen numbers from 11-19." has the following suggestions:
1. First, work on rote counting from 10-20.
  • Identify the student's comfort zone: add 1-2 numbers at a time to the 1-10 sequence until the student can reliably count on using the correct names.
  • Sing songs and extend counting songs: for example, Ten Little Indians can be modified and extended to be 11 little, 12 little, 13 little teddy bears (or dinosaurs or valentines, etc.). Singing is great reinforcement for many students and helps them acquire fluency with these extended numbers more easily than simply counting aloud.
  • Who Has The Number?: Give students the large demo-size cards (#10-20) and have them hold up the cards as you sing the song so that students hear and see the numbers.
  • Teen Line-up: distribute the large demo-size cards (#10-20) and ask students to line up in the correct order. NOTE: numbers 10 and 20 of the teen demo cards are boxed in bright orange [see picture at left] to visually reinforce the notion that the teen numbers are between 10 and 20. Reinforce this notion often when working with the teen demo cards.
2. Learn to recognize the teen numbers.
  • Matching Station: Provide many copies of the teen number cards for students to match to teen numbers in sequential order.
  • Matching Sing-along: As students sing extended teen number songs, have students point to teen number cards to imprint written number with the oral name.
  • Teen Line-Up: students shuffle number cards, then place them in sequential order. After this, students point to each number and name it.
  • Teen Swiper: One student places the teen numbers in sequential order on the floor then removes a card while the other student has eyes closed. This student opens eyes and names the missing number. He/she must then locate that number in a second pile of all teen numbers and place it in the correct place. For this game, it is helpful to have two decks printed on different color paper, or in different color fonts for easy separation into two complete decks.
3.  Next, attach meaning to the number.
  • Four-handed Teens: Have student pairs represent teen numbers. One student holds up both hands to represent 10 fingers. The other student shows additional fingers to represent the teen number.
  • Stamping sets: Give student number cards and have student stamp that many objects on the card.
  • Teen Number Posters: Hang number posters for numbers 11-20 on classroom walls. These posters include the base-ten representation of each number. Regularly include these in rote counting activities, counting 1-20 while pointing to the posters. Introduce the teen numbers as between 10 and 20.
  • Teen Number Mats: Provide number card mats for each number 11-19 and have students count aloud as they place counters on the mat. (Modification would be providing dots on which students place the counters as they count aloud.) NOTE: There is no effort to group materials or make tens at this stage. Students are simply attaching rote counting to one-to-one correspondence and the beginning of number recognition.
4.  Learn to model numbers to make sense of the number value and number sequence.
  • Use of Base-Ten Blocks: This should follow lots of practice with non-grouped materials and students should use base-ten blocks and a place-value mat concretely, writing only the answer to modeling the numbers to attach meaning to how many ones and how many tens they have.
  • Pictorial Representation: Be sure to model for students how they can use simple lines and dots to represent the base-ten blocks to record their thinking. This semi-concrete step is often skipped when teachers go from concrete (base-ten blocks) to abstract (numbers on a page). Students who use this pictorial step have access to more powerful mathematical reasoning by using this intermediate step to think through problems beyond what they have learned.
  • Overhead practice: after students have had lots of hands-on experience, use an overhead to present either the blocks alone or the number alone and ask students to quickly model the number on their place-value mats, filling in the missing information.
I'm going to add my own activity at this point... learning to recognize that teen numbers are composed of "ten and a specific number of "more"... which helps to attach meaning to the number.  In addition,  the teen 10 frames cards also help students to see and interact with the model to make sense of the number value.
    Ten frames are an invaluable resources to visualize this concept of ten plus a specific number of more.
So I created a set of eye-catching snowmen demonstration ten + frame cards from 10-20 in both demonstration size and 4 on a page size , a set of expressions strips from 10 + 0 = through 10 + 10 =, and a set of equation cards in which the word for the teen is featured in both English and Spanish, i.e. 10 + 4 = fourteen,  10 + 4 = catorce.

4 of the suggestion cards based on Debbie Diller's "I Can" cards

10 frame card set with 8 suggested games

 This ten frame set  can be purchased at either my Teachers Pay Teachers store , or you can make your own cards using my pictured examples to help you.

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