As parents we feel elated when our children first learn to count to ten. We feel especially proud when they can duplicate the number formations.
Both of these achievements are important goals; however, one further goal is that of number recognition. To see if your child has grasped number recognition, the following tasks can be given.
First, though, collect the needed materials.
- 2 pieces of construction paper or cardstock
- cereal bowl or cup
- collection of small objects such as buttons, paper squares or circles, metal washers, etc.
- numerical flash cards (1 to 9)
Using the marker, draw a tic-tac-toe design to divide one of the pieces of construction paper into nine sections. Randomly draw a set of different shapes in each section so that each section represents one of the numbers from 1 to 9. For example, one section may have three triangles. Another section may have five circles, another two squares, etc. We will call this our game board.
Divide and cut the second sheet of construction paper into nine smaller sections to use as cover sheets. Now you are ready for task number 1. During this task, do not help or correct your child in any way. You will be observing to see if he or she recognizes the numbers correctly. Note any particular numbers that are not readily recognized.
Task 1: Tell your child that you are going to play a game together. Place the game board on a table in front of your child. In random order, hold up one of the number flash cards. Have your child use one of the cover strips to cover the number amount pictured on the game board. (Remember, do not help the child. This is for assessment purposes only.)
Continue holding up the flash cards one by one until all nine have been covered. Make a note of any numbers that were not recognized properly.
Clear the table and prepare for task number 2 by placing the collection of objects in the bowl. Place the flash cards face up in random order on the table.
Task 2: Ask the child to place the correct number of objects on top of the corresponding numerical card. For example, seven objects should be placed on top of the seven card. Again, do not help the child in any way. You are observing any hesitations or errors and making a note of them.
An alternative to this task is to place one flash card at a time on the table; then have your child place the correct number of objects on that particular card.
Task 3: Shuffle the flash cards. Have your child place them in correct numerical order on the table. There should be no pictorial help for this task.
If all of these tasks have been completed without difficulty, your child has successfully accomplished number recognition of one to ten. If there were any difficulties, then continue to do a variety of activities with your child that will help with number and amount correspondence.