Hi Everyone!

Heidi here with a quick post sharing about a project we’ve been doing in math in Kindergarten. As Kindergartners often have difficulty writing numerals, not only in terms of reversals of the actual numeral but they will often write “23” for “32”, so it can be tricky helping them to identify patterns to further number sense.

So, I decided to teach them the “base 10 code”:

. represents 1, so six would be :::

| represents 10, so 30 would be |||

and a square represents 100 (there’s no square available to me quickly so please imagine it)

in other words the number 26 would be written as ||:::

We also practiced counting by saying “10, 4” for “14” and “10, 5” for “15”. This was extremely effective and did several things:

helped us slow down and think about numbers

helped us think about patterns

helped us improve our counting

allowed people to work at different levels and paces

Here are a few samples of our work. Some of the children decided to count by 2’s or 10’s. Keep in mind that these children are FIVE YEARS OLD. LOOK at the impressive math they are doing and the number sense they are developing from logically “running numbers”.

The first example shows the standard counting to 100 as represented in base 10, meaning nine lines, nine dots would be 99. 9 signals the “pattern change” to 10, which is represented by one line. 100 is represented by a square.

The next example is by a child who decided to count by 10s within a 100s chart, so she reaches 100 (a square) in the last square and has followed the pattern sequence up to 870.

The final example is from a child who decided to count by 2’s, so her pattern sequence ends the row with 20 and she has continued the pattern up to 172 with a prediction of where she will hit 200.

Can you believe this wonderful math from such young children? Is this more effective practice than glueing 100 toothpicks onto a piece of paper and counting each day of school? What do YOU think?

Share in the comments below or wherever you can!

-Heidi