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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tips for helping children with number recognition

Tips on Helping Children with Number Recognition

In teaching numbers in sequence to young children or even older ones too, we  find that kids learn the numbers in the order it is taught to them. What I have noticed in my years of teaching Spanish is that most children can pretty much count from 1 to 10 or 1 to 20 with no problem. But when presenting those same numbers isolated or in a different sequence it becomes a little difficult. To help with this problem I have created several activity sheets to help young children ages 4 and 5 identify the numbers even when they are presented to them by itself.  I am sharing two of those activity pages with you here.  A link will follow where you can download these two activity pages for free!!!

The tips I will share with you here have proven to be effective and I have seen a huge progress in the recognition of numbers in Spanish. But the same idea can be applied to English as well.

Tip #1:  Take the two numbers you want children to identify. (it can be any two numbers) Let's  use for example 10 and 20. Present both numbers to children one at a time back and forth.

Tip #2: Create two set of small cards. Each set can be 10 cards depending on group size. On the first set of cards would be the number 10 and on the other set of cards would be the number 20 (remember these can be any two numbers you select) Mix both sets of cards and give each student a card. Then ask each student what number they have. In my class I teach my students to say: "yo tengo..." (which means: I have) So each student will say "yo tengo diez" or "yo tengo veinte" depending on which number they have. My students enjoy this activity very much especially when they see which of their little friends have the same number as they do. So this activity can be done over a period of time. But it should only take two to four classes for students to identify the two numbers with no problem.

Tip #3: To further reinforce the recognition of these two isolated numbers I then give then a page to color. On this page students will find and color the target number. Let's say the target number is 10, I encourage my students to say: "I found diez" each time they find and color it. Depending on the class I'm teaching I teach them instead how to say that in Spanish, so they will say: "encontré diez" Most of the students are able to say it and because they are saying it each time they find the number it becomes easier and easier to remember each time. On a different day we do the same activity with the number 20.

You can create a game out of tip #1. Children love games. Make it fun for them!
For tip #2 at the end of the activity before children turn in the cards you can ask: "¿quién tiene diez?" and "¿quién tiene veinte?"(who has ten/ who has twenty?) and students practice saying: "yo tengo diez or yo tengo veinte"  (I have ten/I have twenty)

If you are working with older children you can use three or four numbers at a time. For it to be more effective the numbers selected should not be in sequence. Other examples of two selected numbers can be:  5 & 15; 6 & 16 and so on.....

If you would like me to create the small set of cards I use with my students but with specific numbers feel free to email me at: and I will send the cards to you via email as a courtesy. (This offer is for a limited time only)

Here is a class doing the activity sheet. They are finding and coloring the number 20

To access these two activity sheets click on the link below.

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