Strand: COUNTING AND CARDINALITY (K.CC) Standard K.CC.3.
Students will learn the correct way to write numbers.
Kindergarten teachers must insist on some basics! Students must be taught to hold their pencils correctly. Is there a "correct" way? Yes! (Use your district's adopted writing curriculum.) Kindergarten students need be told on the first day of school that since they are now in school they need to do things the "school way." They must hold their pencils the "school way." Whew! This is a hard one, but so critical! A lefthanded student should hold their pencil as if a mirror image of the righthanded student. If kindergarten teachers do not insist on this, students will struggle with writing for the rest of their educational careers. A helpful hint is to have students gently hold a wadded up tissue in their fingers as they are writing.
Is there a correct way to "write" numbers? Yes! Check with your school district first and then be firm! Demand that your students follow the basic moves so that all other writing will be uniform and correct. Remember, we are not farmers when we write, our letters do not grow up out of the bottom line! We always start at the top of numbers (and letters for that matter). Students' writing strokes will eventually lead into cursive writing strokes, so why not give your students the best opportunities possible to be successful at writing. Remember you are their first teacher! You set their course! If you allow your students to write numbers any way they choose, you are allowing their bad habits to become solidified. We all know how hard it is to change a habit!
Studies show that having students "say and write" numerals is not enough. This does not guarantee that students understand what numerals are and what amount they actually represent.
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
Invitation to Learn
What do you think I've got in my Magic Bag? Hmmmm… do you think it is a pig? No, I don't hear any oinking! Do you think it's a tractor? No, my bag is definitely too small for a tractor.
Look at this! Can you tell what this is? I'm not really sure. I thought it looked like an ice cream cone at first, but then… show just a part of a picture sticking out from your Magic Bag. (Continue to pull the picture out of your bag, letting the students call out what they think it is until the whole picture is out of the bag. This should be a picture of something common, maybe even a picture of something in your classroom. Continue to pull out a few more pictures of items they are familiar with.)
You are such a smart class. Now let's see if you can figure out what this is… (Slowly begin to pull out one of the Number Cards, allowing students to call out guesses. Tape the numbers to your board in a random fashion after you have pulled them out. Continue until you have pulled out the numbers 0 to 9.) Instructional Procedures
Fischer, F.E., (1989). A Comparison of Curricula Used in Kindergarten for the Development of Number Concept.
Fischer studied two curricula for teaching number concepts to kindergarten children. She found that using a curriculum where students simply “counted, said, and wrote” numbers did not improve a child’s number concept, even when this program was upgraded to include many manipulative experiences. She found that where students studied numbers in a part-part-whole curriculum their abilities to solve addition and subtraction word problems were enhanced.
Kamii, C. (2000). Teachers Need More Knowledge of How Children Learn Mathematics. NCTM.org.
Kamii believes that teachers need to allow children more time to explore and manipulate the parts of numbers before prematurely teaching a mathematical “rule” such as “adding on.” When children are not allowed enough time to explore putting together two parts to make a new whole they will never understand that addition creates a “larger” amount. Just as children begin crawling before they are off and running, so it is that children need to count “all” before they count “on.”