My investigation has led me to think about lots of ideas that can be used with children in Early Years classroom as well as with KS1. Numbers displayed on telephone sets and remote controls are probably the first form of numbers in an order that young children come across with. Primarily, number lines 0 – 10 & 0 – 20, as a part of the 100 square can be used where children familiarise themselves with numbers and recognise the correct order of numbers.
Number lines are very versatile. They can be of any size, for individual or whole- class use. They can start on any number. Blank number lines are infinitely adaptable; they can be used for counting calculations using all four number operations. They are a good way to practice and overlearn the number bonds to 20 that children need to be able to remember fluently. Visual counting pattern on number lines can help children to understand relative numbers and number sequences.
Moving a step forward from the correct order of numbers, the children can identify and colour all the odd and even numbers and establish rules for recognition. When children are confident with bigger numbers, a large 100 square is ideal to work with the whole class to learn timetables, addition & subtraction of larger numbers by counting numbers above it or below it. Children can also identify multiples of 2,3, 5, 10 and others by highlighting numbers in different colours and demonstrate sequential patterns.
They can reverse the two digit numbers, read them and make new numbers. Problem solving activities such as pick a number between 0-10 or 0-20, double it and add 1, is very exciting as children manipulate with numbers at their own pace. Lots of different games can be introduced. Snakes & Ladders, number dominions, dice games, dot to dot, finding the difference between two dices; place value cards are few examples.
By playing and replaying a selection of games, children can practice to grapple ideas, number facts and concepts in a way that they can enjoy and strengthen skills at the same time. Active involvement aids their learning and enhances their attitude towards the subject. But it is important to focus on the particular learning target that the game is reinforcing. Hundred squares can be cut into several parts to form a jigsaw and children can be challenged to put the pieces together again. (See some activity ideas in the appendix)