Friday, 19 October 2018

Essential Resources to Teach Numbers to Young Learners

Teaching maths to young learners is so rewarding because it's so easy to create the most fun lessons and see huge progress in a short space of time. Maths for young learners is all about developing a deep understanding of basic concepts, deep enough to allow them to transfer their basic skills and knowledge to various different contexts as they move through the school.

For this reason, maths is always very resource-heavy, particularly for young learners. There are so many fantastic resources out there but there are some staples that are absolutely essential in order to teach an outstanding lesson. I firmly believe that children should have a range of resources that are always available for them to self-select in maths and all of the resources I am sharing today are very versatile.

Numicon - Numicon is a fantastic  resource for teaching basic counting, matching and understanding place value. Each amount is in a different colour and it's particularly great when looking at number bonds. It is also weighted so it's great to use with balance scales to teach more or less and help children to understand the value of each number. I particularly love this because when it is left out in the classroom, children will often select it to use in their play so they are learning so much about numbers without it being directed. 

Snap Cubes - Snap Cubes are another  great resource that children often select to use in their play, ensuring they are learning without it being forced upon them. They  are perfect for so many different mathematical activities, from addition, matching, counting, repeated patterns and so much more. No matter what concept I am teaching, I usually find myself pulling out the cubes in order to reinforce it.
Double Sided Counters - I love double sided counters and they are another resource that I regularly pull out when teaching maths. The two colours make it so much easier to explain tasks to children and demonstrate concepts. They are particularly good for addition and subtraction as you can differentiate the two amounts using the colours.
Place Value Cards - These are an essential when teaching place value. There are different views on whether place value should be taught to young children, however, it is something I choose to teach as I think it helps children to understand the value of the numbers they are working with. I generally find that when taught at an age appropriate level, the children grasp the concept and this sets them in good stead for KS1. They're great for helping children to understand the value of numbers in a visual way.
Base 10 - Base 10 is another great resource for helping children to understand the value of digits. I find that children grasp this concept much easier. They love to make different numbers using the Base 10. I often get the children to play a swapsie game with them with a friend which the children absolutely love and it's such a great way for them to learn.
100 Square - Most curricula for young learners only require children to know numbers to 20, however, I think it's so important for children to know that the number system doesn't just end at 20 so I always like to have a 100 square on display. It's also great to support those children who are ready for an extra challenge.
Counting Animals - Counting animals are great for play scenarios. Having counting animals in play areas around the classrooms makes it easy for children to incorporate counting into their play and for adults to quickly and effectively direct play in order to incorporate counting. They are also great for word problems and real life scenarios, such as ...more get on the bus, ...sheep run out of the field. 
Wipe-able Dice - These are great because they are so flexible. They can contain number, spots, word problems, operations or whatever you want. They add an extra dimension to a lesson and help to keep kids engaged. 
If you would like to purchase any of these items, I would love it if you used the affiliate links below. I will receive a very small percentage of each sale. I have also included a few more of my favourite items for teaching numbers.

What are your favourite resources for teaching numbers to young learners?

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