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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ready, Set, Count!

Counting Past 10:
When I first started this blog, I wanted to focus on finger patterns. Most of the feedback I hear from people is that their child is now solid with their numbers from 1 to 10 and they want to know the next step.

Finger patterns are a tool that children use from a very young age through elementary school to help them make a number for quantity, keep track of counts for addition and subtraction and begin using finger patterns for even more advanced strategies such as early multiplicative strategies.

Finger patterns are not meant for your child to hold on to, but to help them see a pattern that runs through the number system. Now that your child is fluent with counting, showing without having to count, making and linking numbers 1 to 10, they are ready to count numbers past 10. Please be aware that the teens are tricky and require more practice than any other family. My previous blogs with games apply and here are few suggestions to have fun while counting past 10.

1. Count things. My son loves a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. We have a counting deal. He counts all the marshmallows before putting them in the cup. I start with a number in the range of 1 to 10 so he can practice pulling the marshmallows away from the other group and linking it to a number. The key skill here is to remove each marshmallow from the pile as it is counted. This “assigns” a number to it. Please see the example video clip.
2. Make mistakes. Numbers in the teens sound very different and do not have the same rules as the other families. 21 is “twenty” and “one,” but there aren’t hints for 11 and 13. When your child makes a mistake, start from the last number they said correctly and continue counting.

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