Developing understanding of number with three new resources

  • Published on May 15, 2020

Developing understanding of number with three new resources

An understanding of number is crucial to navigating our complex world. It is something we use everyday whether we are aware of it or not. From things as seemingly simple as matching the number of socks to our number of feet, to scheduling our day, through to more complex activities like balancing our budget, an understanding of number and mathematics is involved.

It always saddens me when people say, ‘Oh I can’t do maths’, especially when those people are young people. I think a lot of the inability and fear was learned. I know it was for me. Perhaps that is why I am on a mission to make learning in maths enjoyable and meaningful. It doesn’t have to be fearfully abstract and complex if we build strong foundations in the early years.

There are already well over one hundred mathematics resources in the readilearn collection, and this week I have added three more. Two of the resources are interactive lessons ready to teach on the interactive whiteboard in the classroom or, for those still teaching online, via screen sharing software. The third is a printable resource. All support your teaching and are open-ended and adaptable to the needs of you and your learners.

Repeating Patterns

Let's make repeating patterns

Let’s Make Patterns is designed for teaching and reviewing repeating patterns on the interactive whiteboard. Patterns are an important part of mathematics. Learning about patterns with objects helps children understand the patterns upon which our decimal number system is based.

It comprises ten screens, two each of five different items — insects, 2D shapes, 3D shapes, fruit and toys — from which patterns can be made. The screens are open ended so you and the children can use it to make patterns of your own. Up to three repeating patterns can be made on each screen.

Let's make patterns

Many different types of repeating patterns can be made, for example: AB, AAB, ABB, ABA, ABC, AABC. ABBC, depending on your lesson focus.

Lesson ideas:

  • begin a pattern and ask children to continue it
  • make a pattern and ask children to identify the repeating unit
  • ask children to choose images to make a particular pattern, for example, AB or ABC
  • ask children to make a pattern for others to explain
  • make a pattern with an incorrect element and ask children to identify it

The inclusion of 2D and 3D shapes means it can also be used in geometry lessons.

Addition Concepts

let's add - an interactive lesson for teaching addition

Let’s Add is a series of lessons for teaching and reviewing addition stories. It is ready for you to teach on the interactive whiteboard.

The screens are open ended. You and your children can decide on the add stories to make by dragging and dropping items into the yellow box on each screen. You can adapt the lesson to the students’ stage of development from establishing the concept to writing the algorithm.

Lets add

You can record the addition story in words or numbers using the keyboard or interactive whiteboard tool.

Additional suggestions are included in the resource.

Tens Frames

Ladybird tens frames

Tens frames are a great way to support children’s growing understanding of number. They help children see numbers in relation to 10, the basis of our decimal system.

These cute Ladybird Tens Frames can be used in many activities to develop understanding of number, including:

  • Subitising
  • Adding and subtracting
  • Distinguishing odd and even numbers
  • Learning doubles and doubles +1 facts
  • Learning combinations to 10
  • Understanding that teen numbers are 10 + some more

The numbers 1 – 10 are each presented in two different formats – in rows of 5 and in pairs.

The rows of 5 make it easy to see 5 as a unit and then how many more or less than 5.

The pair arrangements make it easy to see doubles and doubles +1 facts, as well as odd and even numbers.

I’m sure you’ll agree that each of these resources will be useful to you when helping young children develop an understanding of number.

Useful online resources

home with the kids - ideas to keep them learning

Last week I was invited to write a guest article for the Carrot Ranch about online resources that parents would find useful when supporting their children’s learning at home. Many of these resources would also be useful to teachers, whether they are teaching in the classroom or online.

In the article, I included links to

  • author websites with story readings and activities
  • virtual museum and zoo tours
  • citizen science projects

and much more. Please pop over to the Carrot Ranch to read the post.

Remember to check out the complete readilearn collection of

over 400 teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.


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    The Fibonnaci sequence is one of my favourite patterns, Robbie, but we are totally reliant on the patterns of our decimal system. I guess we just take them for granted but we’d be lost without them. Thanks for your lovely comment.

    Those are the cutest numbers I’ve seen, Norah! You make learning math fun and approachable. So many give up on it, thinking they aren’t good at numbers. (Americans are weird opposites to your “maths” and “number.”)

    They are cute, aren’t they? Sadly, I can’t take credit for them. They are a public domain image.
    Those opposites are weird, but, like many others, we learn to accept them. 🙂

    Yep. Some how it became acceptable to say you can’t do math, but no one would brag about being illiterate. Numeracy can be such fun and a scaffold for all sorts of learning. But you know that.

    That’s a great point, D. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Yes, I do know that about maths. It has its own beauty

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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