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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Family Talk

Use Families to Count to 100!
My son is starting kindergarten in the fall and he loves to count to 100. While counting, he sometimes forgets what "family" comes next. A great way to talk to children about numbers is calling them families and separating them out so they are easy to identify and remember.

The numbers one to nine are the first family or the ones family. The next family is the tens or teens family. This family seems to be the hardest for children because they do not follow the rules of the other families. Often children will confuse a teen with a decade number. An example is the number thirteen which has the number three in it, but we don't say, “Three-teen.” We ignore the first number in the teens unlike all the other families where the first number announces the name of the family, i.e. thirties, forties, etc.. The teens family is fun to make up names for such as the "grumpy family" or "crazy teenagers" to help give a reminder that they follow a different rule.

The rest of the families are straightforward with each family beginning with the decade for that family or as I call it, the families "front door" to that family’s home. Inside their home are all the numbers inside that family. For example, eighty is the front door number for the eighties family and inside their home are all the cute little eighties.

How Do Finger Patterns Link to the Families and Counting to 100?
When my son is getting ready to say the next family and he forgets, for example, the eighties family or says the wrong family, I ask him, "What comes after seven?" He looks at his finger pattern for seven and says, "Eight! Oh, so the eighties family." Sometimes I just flash the family that comes next, so if he is stuck on the eighties I make a nine on my fingers so he knows that the next family is the nineties. Have fun counting and talking about the families!

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