Once children can recognize the numbers 1 to 10, you can start teaching them the numbers 11 to 20. Understanding them requires more than just counting and recognizing: it requires a knowledge of tens, units, and a sense bigger of how the numbers work. Teaching these concepts can be challenging; for ideas, go to Step 1.
Part 1 of 3: Introducing the numbers 11 to 20
Step 1. Present the numbers one at a time
Starting at 11, teach the children the numbers one at a time. Write the figure on the board and include a picture: To teach 11, draw 11 flowers, 11 cars, or 11 smiley faces.
Incorporating the concept of a tens board at this point can help, including one with the correct number of units. To learn more about the tens board, see Part 2
Step 2. Teach children to count to 20
They can often learn to count to this number easily by repeating and memorizing. Make it even easier by working with the numbers two by two: first count to 12, then count to 14, and so on.
Realize, however, that teaching children to count to 20 is not the same as teaching them to understand numerical values. Counting needs to be accompanied by other lessons aimed at numerical awareness and understanding
Step 3. Practice writing the numbers
After the children know the individual numbers and can count to 20 in the correct order, have them practice writing the numbers. For best results, ask them to say the numbers aloud as they write.
Step 4. Create a number line
Showing children a line marked at equal intervals with the numbers 0 to 20 can help them visualize the progression.
Step 5. Embed objects
Some children learn best using objects they can touch. Have them contain sticks, pencils, cubes, marbles, or other small items, and reinforce the fact that if they count objects one by one, the number they reach when they stop will equal the number of objects accumulated.
Step 6. Make learning physical
Ask the children to count the steps; the stairs are great for this, but walking from one side of the room to the other will do, too. Another alternative: make them jump 20 times and count the jumps.
Hopscotch games are good for this purpose: Draw 10 squares on the floor and fill them in with numbers 1-10. Ask the children to count from 1 to 10 as they jump forward and from 11 to 20 as they come back
Step 7. Reinforce the numbers whenever you can
Take every opportunity you have to count to 20 and demonstrate number awareness. The more children practice, the better the results.
Part 2 of 3: Teaching tens and units
Step 1. Explain the basic concept of tens and units
Tell the children that all numbers 11 through 19 are made up of a dozen and an additional number of units. The number 20 is made up of two whole tens.
Help the children visualize this concept by writing the number 11 and next to it showing a 10 and a unit separated by a circle
Step 2. Present the Tens Charts
These frames have 10 empty spaces, filled during counting. You can use coins or other small objects to demonstrate or draw on the blackboard.
To make a good activity, give each child 2 tens and 20 objects. Ask them to create the number 11: a full ten board and one with only one unit on it. Have them create the other numbers. You can also reverse the process, starting with full tens and taking out the objects
Step 3. Try using dashes and dots
Show the children that it is possible to represent these numbers with dashes and dots: first for tens and last for ones. Demonstrate that the number 15, for example, is made up of 1 dash and 5 dots.
Step 4. Draw a T table
Make a T on a large piece of paper; the left column represents the tens and the right column the units. Fill in the right column with the numbers 1 to 10 in sequence and leave the left column blank. Then:
- Add representative numbers of objects, such as cubes, to the units column: 1 cube next to the number 1, 2 cubes next to the 2, and so on.
- Explain that you can represent a 10 with 10 cubes or a larger stick.
- Fill in the 1 in 1 tens column and explain how these numbers work together to create bigger ones.
Part 3 of 3: Reinforcing the numbers 11 to 20 with fun activities
Step 1. Play memory games with numbered cards
Use sets of cards labeled with numbers 1 to 20 to play a memory game. The children turn the cards face down and then look for the pairs.
Step 2. Fill containers with small objects
Have the children fill the containers with small items: 11 buttons, 12 grains of rice, 13 coins, and so on. Let them count the objects and label the containers with the appropriate numbers.
Step 3. Read picture books
There are many books of this type that deal with the numbers 1 to 20 available. Read them together.
Step 4. Sing songs
Counting songs help reinforce understanding of the number sequence in a fun way.
Step 5. Play "Who has the number":
give the children cards with numbers 11 to 20 and ask, "Who has the number 15"? Wait for the child with the appropriate card to get up.
You can make this game more challenging by asking more complex questions like "Who has the number 13 plus 2"? Or having students divide their numbers into tens and units as they stand
Step 6. Let the kids correct their counting mistakes
Count from 1 to 20 out loud, making random mistakes, and allow children to point them out. You can also do the same with sequences of cards or number lines.
Step 7. Have the children use their hands
Choose two children and give one of them the role of a ten: raise the 2 open hands in the air to show 10 fingers. The second child is the unit: he must lift the proper number of fingers to create the number you ask for.
Step 8. Create numerical stations in the room
Set up a station for each number from 11 to 20. For 11, for example, label a disk with the word "eleven", the number 11, and a photo of 11 objects. Also, lay out any 11 items. Do the same for each number and ask the children to circle around to identify the various seasons.
- Do your best to make these lessons fun, as children learn better from fruitful activities than from reading.
- Remember that each child has different learning styles; some may prefer images, others may need to touch the materials. Always offer a variety of lessons suitable for different learning styles.