Play-Doh Number Line

Remember my commitment to increasing my kids’ number awareness instead of just focusing on literacy?  Well we’re taking baby steps around here–in fact, I started with the very basic idea of literal number awareness: can they recognize and organize numerals in a number line, or do they just know how to count?

I was certain Jax could identify the numbers 1-12, but the teens can be a bit tricky.  And I didn’t know if Em knew her numbers at all!  So I wrote the numbers 1-10 on craft popsicle sticks for Em, and numbers 1-20 for Jax.

Then they chose some Play-Doh and we rolled them into snakes (which took forever–every time we had ones ready, they’d rip them up as soon as my back was turned).  Finally they were ready and the number organizing could begin.

Em really surprised me–up until then I really hadn’t thought she knew her numbers.  She can count but I didn’t think she knew her numerals at all.  But she did!   She knew them all!  And with a little help from me helping her count the order, she finished her number line in no time.

Jax, on the other hand, got held up a bit around 14–although I think it was more because of laziness than lack of understanding–so I made him a list of the last few numbers so he could sort them out on his own.

Which he did, and when he was done, he was really proud!

Meanwhile, Em was getting bored waiting for him, but was still interested in the idea, so I just flipped her sticks over and made a new challenge for her to keep her busy.  Differentiated, I guess you could say.

This required a little help from big brother because I don’t think she even realized that colors have an order, plus she had to stop to have a bunny break.

But eventually they worked as a team to put the sticks in rainbow order.  Then the lure of the markers was too much for them and they abandoned the mathematical ship.  However, it was fun while it lasted, and I saved the sticks for another rainy day, when I remember that there’s more to life than reading!

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