Do you need ideas and resources for teaching numeral recognition in preschool and kindergarten?
Some children learn to recognize the numerals 0-10 with exposure to a few books, games, and/or activities. Then, they’re all set to go.
However, there are other children who struggle with symbol recognition- whether it’s the name of colors, shapes, letters, or numerals.
Here are three ways to help children who have difficulty with symbols learn to recognize numerals.
Just a little tidbit about numerals and numbers. A numeral is a symbol or name that is used to represent a number. A number is a count or measurement. And yes, I’d like to just refer to both as a number!
Assess Before Teaching Numeral Recognition
Before you start teaching, you’ll want to know which numerals your students already recognize with ease. All you need is a basic set of flashcards 0-10. Assess your students individually.
Flash the numeral cards one at a time in random order. For a less stressful way, lay a few cards down at a time on a flat surface. Then, ask your student to find and name a numeral they know. Record the numerals each student needs to learn.
With this knowledge, you’ll know where to start- with zero or maybe just a few to go. Create small instructional groups, as needed.
At the end of this post, you’ll find a link for a free resource. It includes basic flashcards 0-10. It also includes two alternate half-page numeral assessments.
Give your student a copy of the numeral page. Have them point to and say each numeral. You can use a second copy to record any errors.
Make It Multi-Sensory
Just like letters and sounds, numerals and numbers can be introduced, practiced, and reviewed in a multi-sensory way. Link the name (numeral) with its formation and corresponding quantity (number). Have your students use their fingers to show quantity.
Multi-Sensory Ways to Teach Numeral Recognition
- Tracing and writing on a chalkboard using large muscle movements
- Skywriting using full-range arm movements
- Rainbow writing on a chalkboard or large on a piece of paper
- Finger writing in a sensory tray
- Forming numerals with playdough
Keep it multi-sensory! Look at the numeral. Say its name. Form the numeral. Show the quantity.
I made a free set of self-checking flashcards with ten frames. You can pair these (or the basic ones) with a sensory tray. Scroll to the bottom of this post to download them.
Here are a few blog posts with useful information you can adapt for teaching numeral recognition.
Helpful Blog Posts
- Introduce Letters and Sounds the Multi-Sensory Way
- Review Letters and Sounds the Multi-Sensory Way
- Stuff a Little Learning into December
My newest resource, Pet Themed Activities for Numeral Recognition 0-10, is available in my TpT store. It includes several activities for multi-sensory instruction. You’ll find numeral formation mats, count to recognize mats, and ten frame mats.
Use a Systematic, Sequential Approach For Teaching
Provide step-by-step instruction. It increases the odds of student success! Let your assessment results be your starting point. Here’s an example if you’re beginning with zero.
- Teach 0.
- Teach 1.
- Practice/ review with activities for only 0 and 1.
- Teach 2.
- Practice/ review with activities for just 0, 1, and 2.
- Teach 3, etc.
Be sure to assess and reteach when needed, as you go!
I used this structure to create Pet Themed Activities for Numeral Recognition 0-10. Each numeral is introduced individually in numerical order, 0-10.
There are four activities that focus on teaching recognition of a single numeral.
- numeral formation mats
- count to recognize mats
- ten frame mats
- treat jar numeral searches
In addition, there are eight activities that provide a cumulative review, generally starting with 2.
- number tower mats
- cup craze mats
- 3 sets of how many worksheets
- color by number worksheets
- spin & trace worksheets
- roll & say worksheets
You can find a Numeral Recognition Free Sample of some of these activities for teaching the numeral 4 in my TpT store.
Click on the highlighted words, Numeral Flashcards 0-10, to download another freebie. It includes basic numeral flashcards, two half-page assessment sheets, and self-checking flashcards with ten frames.
I’d love to hear about your favorite activities for teaching numeral recognition!
Photo in title image by Almaje.