Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Number Line - Teaching Numbers to 2-year-olds

You knew I couldn't stop with the creation of the alphabet wall, right? I needed to create a number line as well.

Here's what I did.  I  bought some number flash cards from Zellers. There were 2 cards of each number, and each card had the number symbol on the front (e.g. 1, 2, 3), and the actual number of objects on the back (with the written form of the number underneath). I cut out a strip of bristle board, and taped one set of the cards in order from 1-10, with the "number of objects" side facing up. I then got this strip laminated, and taped it to the wall. I laminated the other set of  cards as well. Finally, I placed a piece of velcro just above each card on the laminated strip, and at the top of each of the other laminated cards, on the opposite side of the number symbol. So, the idea is to place the number symbol card over the corresponding number of objects card.

They are so young (Noah 23 months and Aidas 22 months) that I certainly do not expect them to correctly match them all! At this point, both Noah and Aidas can recognize and say the numbers 1-3, when they see the number symbol.(They knew this before I put the number line up.) They also understand one object and two objects, and can correctly count this far on their own. (For example, they might say "Two shoes" when getting ready for an outing.) In addition to this, Aidas can recite the numbers 1-10 (and sometimes accurately recites to 15!).

So, currently we can use this number line in different ways.

  • They can place the number cards any old place they want, just to become more familiar with seeing the number symbols.
  • I can help them match number symbol to object, so that they understand how it is supposed to work. I am mainly trying to do this for numbers 1-3.
  • We can try to place theses numbers in order, and then count to ten, or backwards from 10 while pointing at each number (ignoring the number of objects underneath). We can also sing songs with numbers while pointing at the numbers (Eg. "1, 2, Buckle my Shoe", "Zoom, Zoom Zoom", "When You're 1", "Alice the Camel", "The Ants go Marching", etc.)
At this point we are not using the Alphabet Wall or the Number Line that often. I don't want it to feel like a chore to them. I don't want to force them. I try to make it like a special treat to get the number cards or the alphabet cards out. I will follow their lead with this more; as they show more interest and aptitude, we may spend more time with it. Right now, their desire and 'toddler right' is unstructured play, for the most part. It just means I have to constantly be looking for those teachable moments. All children love to learn!

No comments:

Post a Comment