After spending quite a bit of time exploring the numbers 1-10 (through counting, number bonds, and subtraction), I am now focusing on the numbers 11-20. Though my daughter can recognize and name the numbers, she does not really understand what they represent (i.e. she does not yet understand place value). To help reinforce the fact that the numbers 11-20 are equivalent to 10 + ____, I’ve created some fun printable pages to model these numbers using ten frames. Building the numbers 11-20 using various hands-on manipulatives, as well as these ten frame pages has been tremendously helpful in increasing her number sense and building a foundation to understand place value.
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Building the Numbers 11-20:
There are a couple of different ways we modeled the numbers 11-20. First, we built the numbers using base ten blocks.
At first, I just gave her a large pile of unit blocks and had her count them one by one. Then we talked about how ten blocks can be put together to make a ten. I then had her practice counting by forming groups of ten (or making a “ten” out of the units) and then counting on.
She then began to notice that each number between 11-20 can be formed by using a ten + the correct number of unit blocks.
We then did a similar exploration with pennies and dimes. Money makes a fabulous math manipulative! We used the ten frame pages to count out pennies, and I reminded her that ten pennies is equal to one dime.
Again, she was able to see that the numbers 11-20 are made up of 1 ten and ____ units.
Then, she used do-a-dot markers to show the numbers 11-20 on her worksheets. I made sure she used two different colors (one for the “ten” and one for the “units”). This way, when she was finished, she was able to see all the numbers together, made up of 1 ten and the increasing number of units.
We also practiced writing out the number words, which gave her some handwriting and vocabulary practice.
These pages are great to hang on the wall as a helpful visual so that kids can use them as a reference when they are working with the numbers 11-20!
Building the numbers 11-20 in a concrete and visual way is the best way for kids to have a deep understanding of the numbers and builds a solid foundation for future learning and more abstract concepts.
Understanding these numbers as one ten plus __ units is essential for understanding place value in larger numbers, and also essential for students to begin adding and subtracting larger numbers.
Subtracting with regrouping (or borrowing) for example, makes no sense if kids do not understand that the tens place represents tens and not units. (By the way, I have also found that teaching borrowing with dimes and pennies is extremely effective).
What are some ways you teach the numbers 11-20? Do you find kids have a hard time learning and truly understanding these numbers?