Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Counting with Number Boards

This is another simple activity for the very young that can be adapted for older kids. I made it thematic by using the heart erasers, also seen here, but since she's so interested in my button collection I'm also going to use them as manipulatives with this activity too. Number boards are very easy to make. I made mine out of construction paper by gluing on a numeral, I used my school's die cut machine to make them, in the corner of both sides of each sheet. Then on one side I used those colored sticker dots, that can be found at office supply stores, to represent the number. For example on the number 5 page, one side has the numeral five on it and the other side had the numeral five along with five sticker dots. Then I laminated each sheet to increase their durability. In CA the kindergarten learning benchmark was to count, identify, and represent up to 20 so I made a few sets of these cards all up to the number 20.

You could also use colored cardstock, this is heavier weight paper that can be found at craft stores in the scrapbook area, and then use number stickers or run the sheets of cardstock through your computer and print the numbers directly onto the paper. I'd refrain from using patterned paper as it might distract the learner from the skill being practiced.The reason for the two sides of this activity are so that it can be differentiated for each individual learner. For more advanced students working on higher numbers, the dotted side provides a self check to the activity. This is not giving the answer to your child, because even if he or she uses the dotted side the learner is still having to count and practice.

I used this activity during center time. Students get the center box with the cards and counting manipulatives in it, a large number line was already on display on my classroom's wall. Students can say the numbers, lay them out in order, and practice counting.
We are working on numbers 1-5. She can count pretty regularly to number 3; I chose 5 so she'd have some level of success but still have something to work on without being overwhelmed. I used the side with the colored dots, as we're in the early stages of learning, and as she gains proficiency, I'll turn over the sheets and use the side with just the numeral printed on it. Right now we say each number, she puts a manipulative on top of each dot to show 1:1 correspondence, and then we count each item.

This activity can be used throughout the year with a variety of different thematic manipulatives to tie in with your learning theme. Another variation on this activity is to make the number boards in different thematic shapes, such as turkey shapes for Thanksgiving, trees for Christmas, or hearts for Valentine's day. I'd highly recommend switching things up throughout the year, so that the activity remains fresh and new to your child. I have some boards like that and will try to find them in my basement, photograph them and add to this post.

4 Friends Said:

Annie said...

I love these counting boards with buttons! So cute and great for learning. I am going to have to copy and make a set for my little one! Annie - No Fuss Fabulous

eriochrome said...

You said that keeping those 10 big plastic bins through 2 interstate/cross country moves would be good. You were right.

Courtney said...

Those are AWESOME!!! Perfect for my girls! I am going to make some up today! Thank you so much!

Vickie said...

What a fun activity. Great learning tool:)

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