Do your students need help making sense of those tricky teen numbers? This seasonal activity may be just as valuable as that proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for your kindergarteners.
Of course, you don’t need a leprechaun to tell you that a solid foundation in number sense is worth its weight in gold!
Hands-On Ways to Develop Understanding of Teen Numbers
Help your students make sense of these numbers by providing numerous opportunities for them to show, see, and feel that a teen number is a ten plus some more. Get out those double ten frames with counters, popsicle sticks, interlocking cubes, and base ten blocks.
Create those teen numbers with concrete objects in as many ways as possible!
Show them on double ten frames. Use a variety of counters to keep it fresh.
Construct tally marks with popsicle sticks. Or make a bundle of ten and some extra ones with those popsicle sticks.
Build a stick of ten with interlocking cubes. Show that teen number as a ten plus some extra (loose) ones. Once your students grasp the concept, bring out the base ten blocks.
Practice recording “_ is ten and _ more” or “10 + _ = _” with these activities.
Here’s a free set of folding Expanded Form Cards (Number Sense Guy) to help your students visualize the standard and expanded forms of teen numbers (and beyond).
Keep emphasizing the words teen and ten and the relationship (a teen number has one ten) between them.
After all the hands-on concept development, your students will be ready for this St. Patrick’s Day-themed resource for teen numbers. Use it with small groups of 2 to 4 students. (You can adapt it for a single student or a large group.)
Try it for morning work, in a math center, or with your small instructional groups.
Let your students match double ten frames, tally marks, base ten blocks, and expanded form with the corresponding teen number whilst having a little mischievous fun!
Get “A Pot of Gold for Teen Numbers” Prepared
There are 4 different activity mats. Each mat has a pot of gold with 10 gold coins. Each coin has a numeral (11-19) on it. One numeral appears twice on each mat.
There are 4 sets of 9 cards with representations (double ten frames, tally marks, base ten blocks, and expanded form) for each number.
You will need:
- One copy of the activity mat for each participating student
- Two or more sets of cards
- Crayons or counters
Choose color or black/ white. Print the black/ white mats on paper to use with crayons.
The color or black/ white mats can be printed on card stock and laminated for reuse. Use counters to cover. Try gold coins, erasers, buttons, gems, or any one-inch or smaller counters that you have handy.
I had two sizes of plastic gold coins in my stash. The smaller ones (about 1.25 inches) will work with some overlap.
Print the cards on card stock and laminate for durability. Prepare at least two sets for 2 students and at least three sets for 3 to 4 students. Cut out the cards.
Get ‘Em Engaged With “A Pot of Gold for Teen Numbers”
Shuffle the cards. Place them in a stack, a messy pile, or a decorative container.
- Draw a card.
- Determine the teen number.
- Look for the corresponding numeral on their mat.
- If the numeral is on the mat, color or place a counter on that gold coin.
- If the numeral is already colored or covered, you lose your turn.
- Discard your card.
- Take turns.
- Reshuffle the discarded cards, as needed.
Who can be the first one to color or cover all your gold coins?
Click on the highlighted words to download your free copy of A Pot of Gold for Teen Numbers.
Do you have a favorite tip for teaching teen numbers? Be sure to share in the comments below!
Looking for more resources…
Here are a few links for recipes and crafts, plus a bit of science and math that continue the pot of gold theme!
- Pot of Gold Addition (Recipe for Teaching)
- Sink the Pot Leprechaun Science (Little Bins for Little Hands)
- Easy Pot of Gold Card Craft (Simple Everyday Mom)
- Pot of Gold Paper Plate Craft (The Simple Parent)
- Hidden Pot of Gold Brownie Cups (Pizzazzerie)
Check out some of my other number sense blog posts along with these two St. Patrick’s Day-themed posts.
- Roll-a-Rainbow (practice or review reading CVC or high-frequency words)
- Give and Take Make Ten (a game for learning, reviewing, and retaining the Make Ten number combinations)
Photo in title image by Grafvision photography.