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Can you help me help DD to learn numbers 11-20?

(45 Posts)
AwfulMaureen Tue 28-Jan-14 09:38:01

She's 5 in year one and has just been placed on an IEP. As far as I can see, the IEP is mainly for numeric work as her teacher told me her reading has really come on a lot since she got glasses last term and they're quite happy with her progress.

But they're not happy that she can't recognise all numbers from 11 to 20 and want her to be able to.

Last night I wrote them all out and stuck them on the mirror and she now confidently knows 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19. But is a bit hit and miss with 13, 15, 12 and 20.

It's obviously because she can't say "Five-teen" and "Three-Teen" etc.

how can I help her? I've tried giving the numbers "characters" as she's very imaginative and visual but it's not really helped....maybe I need to do some in colour? All I've done at the moment is put a face on the zero of the 20...any tips please?

I am glad they're helping her...I fell behind very quickly in maths as a child and by age 10 I was having panic attacks about it. sad I think she's inherited my blind spot about it....I remain positive and encouraging to her though and don't show my own fears. Unfortunately I had a teacher who called me stupid all the time and he ruined my chances of gaining any confidence later on in high school with maths.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 28-Jan-14 09:44:57

does she manage to get them right in theory so she knows that 15 is fiveteen/fifteen rather than 51? I think that is the first thing to establish. If she is reversing the numbers around then she isn't seeing the tens and units the right way round so that is a different situation.

When she counts does she count confidently from 11-20? taking away anything to do with it written down, just counting objects and doing it all verbally?

does she know it is fifteen but then says fiveteen when she reads the number or does she think it is fiveteen anyway?

if she thinks the names are three teen and five teen then I think you could possibly try explaining it that an apple is called an apple, a table is called a table, a dog is called a dog, it is just a name which represents that object. So the name which represents the number that is ten and five is fifteen.

I don't know, sorry, just general thoughts there.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 28-Jan-14 09:47:56

count with her whilst pointing to a number line - backwards as well as forwards. Just a few times during the day, shouldn't take long. Get her to test you. Make it relaxed. Remember to teach not test, counting WITH her will secure her understanding.

Grumbliest Tue 28-Jan-14 09:48:18

My son liked YouTube videos, there loads of fun musical ones and it repeats with great visuals

HumphreyCobbler Tue 28-Jan-14 09:50:10

sorry, make sure you include lots of the numbers she is already secure on, then she won't feel like she is failing all the time. Do it in very short bursts.

If you want a good visual resource to help consolidate understanding google numicon starter kits. I think they are good. I am a primary school teacher btw, who particularly enjoyed helping those struggling with maths.

AwfulMaureen Tue 28-Jan-14 09:50:58

Non* yes she does get them right in theory and can count confidently from 11 to 20...I tested her yesterday....thanks for the tip there..I wil try that as she does understand some quite abstract concepts.

Humphrey thanks...I'm guilty of testing...blush

LittleMissGreen Tue 28-Jan-14 10:03:04

DS had a light bulb go on a couple of days ago where he was looking at a bag with 10 objects in on one side and then varying number of single objects on the other side. And the number written at the top. He suddenly realised that the bag of 10 objects was the 1 at the beginning of a teen number and the numbers on the other side were the units numbers.
Not sure if that explains it very well. I didn't tell him about the tens and units he just clicked.

steppemum Tue 28-Jan-14 10:17:38

I agree that first point to check is can she one to one count up to 20? So put 13 spoons on the table, can she count them?

So she needs to practise counting one to one, and practise saying the words (so she knows 13 is the one after 12, but can't say the word properly, means she can count and needs to practise the word, if she can't count to 20, then she needs help with the one to one objects and counting.)

I would do lots of counting together, count to 12 and then say the next one is??? and lots of cheers when she gets it right, and if she can't just count it again together.

At the same time, practise your post it notes, repeat, repeat, repeat, no pressure, just practise together, say it together and you gradually let a pause come in so she is saying it not you.

Try pairs as well, draw an number 11 on a piece of paper and say Run and find the eleven on the wall (your post it notes)
Put 15 items on the table, count it together and then find the written number to match it.

Keep it very concrete, count lots of objects, match numbers to objects, make 2 sets of objects and say which one it bigger? then count together to check, then match number to the sets. Then change the amount in the set. Is it more, can you guess how many, count to check

HumphreyCobbler Tue 28-Jan-14 10:20:35

I thing testing instead of teaching is the most common thing parents do in maths - and I include myself in that! It is so different with your own dc. I would never have got impatient with a child I taught in the way I did with my own ds.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 28-Jan-14 10:20:45


steppemum Tue 28-Jan-14 10:28:17

agree with humphrey about teach not test, lots of counting together, so you are both counting.

AwfulMaureen Tue 28-Jan-14 10:29:37

Thank you all so much. Humphrey Isn't it awful! It's like you want them to get it SO badly that you can't resist checking!

I do think that she's improved since the work we did last night. I feel I neglected numbers at home as I was so focused on getting her reading!

ReallyTired Tue 28-Jan-14 10:39:36

I have been doing Singapore Math kindergarten text book B with my daughter. It is very practical and hands on.

It is expensive, but I think its worth every penny. It has not lots of suggestions for hands on activities. I realise it might seem a bit insulting, but get her to practice counting objects like marables, toy cars, lego bricks. The next stage is to give your child 12 objects and ask her to make a group of ten and count the number left over. Repeat this for different numbers and different objects to make it more interesting.

I think a lot of children struggle going from concete ideas to abstract ideas at the age of five. I believe that the UK expects too much of reception child so they don't master the basics. In singapore kindergarten children go at a far slower pace, but the outshine the rest of the world later on as they really understand what numbers mean.

Singaphore Math uses a pictorial approach to help bridge the gap between concrete and abstract thinking. My four year old had a lovely light bulb moment when she realised that twenty three was two lots of ten and three lots of ones.

AwfulMaureen Tue 28-Jan-14 10:41:35

Thank you RealyTired I also feel that we're expecting ALL 5 year olds to be capable of what in actual fact only SOME are.

I will check that book out....the tip about counting 12 items is great...

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 28-Jan-14 10:50:09

what about an old fashioned abacus? Most children really like them, they are fun, moving beads around and so on but they are very useful and visual.

or she could make her own number bead string so you can do 10 in one colour and then 10 in another colour, visual. My kids have one of these which my mum bought when she was teaching, I haven't seen any for sale but info about how to make them will come up with a google search.

AwfulMaureen Tue 28-Jan-14 10:51:44

I used to have an abacus! I threw it in the charity box! I might order her some number beads...she'd like that. She's very artistic so I think a good idea might be to paint numbers.

ReallyTired Tue 28-Jan-14 11:05:24

An abacus is good, but its still quite an abstract concept for a five year to see that one bead can represent 10 beads.I think an abacus is better when a child is starting to add up bigger numbers. Prehaps more towards the end of year 1/ year 2. Certainly a lot of asian countries use an abacus to teach their children arithemetic.

Prehaps you can can get your daughter to make a braclet with ten beads on. If she has several bracelets then she can count the tens.

ReallyTired Tue 28-Jan-14 11:06:43

number bracelets

AGoodPirate Tue 28-Jan-14 12:12:07

I had a fantastic app about numbers 1-20 by Eurotalk on the iPad. I know some people don't like them but I really rated it.

ReallyTired Tue 28-Jan-14 12:16:21

I'm glad that you found an app that you liked. Ds like Timez Attack, but I think the OP daughter is a little young for multiplication tables.

Its important to avoid death by worksheet (aka Kumon!). Some apps are little more than electronic worksheets.

OutwiththeOutCrowd Tue 28-Jan-14 14:53:10

The most important thing for you and your DD is getting some FUN out of learning those numbers.

Making a game out of it would be helpful as you could both use your imaginations and enjoy the process of learning.

So ...

Suppose you and your DD were going to have a '12' day. There are two things to do on a '12' day.

1. Counting different groups of twelve objects to make sure the idea of 'twelveness' takes root.
2. Learning how to recognise and reproduce the squiggle '12' which we use to represent this idea of twelveness.

To start off '12' day, you could draw a '12' for her and say sometihing like, ''12' looks like a leg and a swan to me. What do you think?'
(Maybe she has a better idea?)

Then you go for a walk together (to the shops?), keeping an eye open for a '12'. When you spot one (house number? ... clock face? ...), you can tell DD you've spotted a '12' and ask her if she can see it. Remind her about the leg and the swan. When she spots it, you can count up to 12 together. Ask her to let you know if she notices any other 12s as you go along. Then, perhaps 12 chocolate buttons counted out by DD as a reward?

When you get home, ask your DD to count out 12 objects (dried peas, sweets, lego bricks .... ).

Then draw a big 12 for her and say, 'That's how you write twelve'.
Maybe she could add a sock/shoe to the 'leg' and add a beak to the 'swan' and stick coloured feathers on it? Perhaps she could make her own '12' out of plasticene?

Repeat in a similar fashion for other numbers, or do more numbers at once if you are feeling ambitious.

Just have a fun, magical, creative, number-filled time together!

Good Luck x

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 28-Jan-14 18:45:09

Completely agree with what Reallytired says.

Once she can count 20 objects I would go introduce simple place value and relate that to how numbers are written. So lots of grouping the objects into '10' and some ones. With things like straws you can band the 10 together and leave the extra ones loose. Otherwise an egg box (either one that originally held 10 eggs or one you've cut the end off to leave 10 spaces) or Tens Frame with one object in each space will help.

If she can write numbers to 10, I'd get her to label the group of 10 with 10 and the odd ones left over with how many are left e.g. for 14 10 and 4. Better still use place value/arrow cards so she can physically push the 10 and 4 together and see how 14 is written.

Don't feel you need to go right up to 19/20 to start with. you could stick with 11-13 to start with and then move up as she gains confidence.

AwfulMaureen Tue 28-Jan-14 20:07:30

Rafa thank you...she can count twenty objects but it;'s recognising the numbers written down...however...yesterday and this evening I played a LOT of number games with her.

We used the numbers 11-20....last night was all about writing them, looking at their shapes and just using little cards I made to count in order.

By the end of last night she could confidently recognise 11, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19.

Tonight we played a game where I put numbers 11 to 16 in the bottom of an empty egg box...and then popped a penny in...she shook it and had to say what number the coin was on. She LOVED it and now she confidently knows 12 and 13 too!

How is it though that a couple of hours of this has resulted in her knowing almost all of these numbers? I;m not saying she hasn't got some problems....I mean I will have to see if she retains them....but she retained yesterdays with no I am sure she will.

Perhaps she just needs more individual attention in general?

steppemum Tue 28-Jan-14 21:36:10

If she is ready to learn it, she will pick it up quickly. It is probable that they did more counting focus in reception, and she wasn't quite ready, and she isn't getting that particular input now.

I think at the right moment, an hours 1:1 can go miles!

AwfulMaureen Tue 28-Jan-14 21:57:07

Yes...that must be it! Is recognising the numbers classed as counting then?

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