Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Teen Numbers!

Today, we worked with students who were struggling with the teen numbers.  We wanted the students to understand that 12 is not just a one and a two, but it was a ten and two ones.  When the students sat down, we gave them each a card with a teen number on it.  We went around our circle identifying the numbers we had with a thumbs up if we agree or a thumbs down if we didn’t.  What they didn’t notice was the pile of cubes we had sitting in the middle of the circle.  We then asked the students how they knew that their number was, for example, 13.  They replied that it was a one and a three.  Then, we asked the students to show us how to make thirteen.  They held up one finger in  one hand, and three fingers in the other.  We asked them how many fingers they were holding up and they replied with 4.  So we asked the students if 4 was the same as 13 and they obviously said no.  We pushed them even further and asked them why it wasn’t the same.  They were stumped by this question.  So we played a game with the cubes that were in the middle of the circle.  We had each student build towers containing 13 cubes, but we told them that each tower that they had could not contain more than 10 cubes.  They figured out to put their “loose” cubes to the side.  One of the students then realized that the big tower looked like a big one!  This was a major breakthrough for us!  We went on to ask if the tower looked like a 1, then what would the loose cubes represent in the number 13.  They said that it could represent the three.  We were amazed at the realization that this student had and it really worked better than we had planned.  We then explained to the students that the one in 13 really meant that it was ten ones plus three ones, or in their case, one big tower of ten and 3 loose cubes!  We are excited to work with these students again on Thursday to create a deeper understanding of these concepts.

3 Responses to “Teen Numbers!”

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