In this Blog Post: Wondering how to teach teen numbers in kindergarten? Learn the easiest trick for teaching teen numbers and making them stick!
If you teach kindergarten, you know that teen numbers can be tricky! I’m not sure why, but those tricky teens are one of the hardest math concepts for my kindergarten students to grasp.
A few years ago, I started brainstorming how to teach teen numbers in a way that would make them stick.
I found an easy trick for teaching teen numbers that makes all the difference!
Introducing Teen Numbers
When I teach teen numbers in kindergarten, I really emphasize that teen Numbers always start with a one. We have an anchor chart, a chant, a song.. you name it!
But I realized that my students didn’t know why teen numbers always start with a one.
In order for teen numbers to stick, introducing place value and teen numbers needs to go hand in hand.
When I introduce teen numbers, I make a group of ten and some extra ones on a ten frame.
Then, I make large numbers to match the groups:
I explain to students, when we make teen numbers, we are adding these two groups together.
Adding them together couldn’t be easier!
The second number slides into the ten and takes the place of the zero.
We make a big deal of sliding the two numbers together:
Ten and two becomes 12!
We practice this a LOT throughout our teen numbers unit. Students get their own smaller cards to compose teen numbers with.
We sit in a big circle at the carpet and I put out the 10 and another number below it.
I ask students to take out the same numbers. They get to put their numbers together in front of them.
Then, I ask a student what number they made.
We check their answer by having a *dramatic* moment as I slide the cards together to reveal the teen number.
You can see this in action in the video below:
When students are able to physically see and experience how the ten and the extra ones come together, it helps the teen numbers stick in their minds.
If you’re teaching teen numbers in kindergarten, I encourage you to try this trick and see if it’s just as magical for your students!
Kindergarten Guided Math Unit
If you’re wondering how to teach teen numbers in kindergarten, I’ve got an entire teen numbers unit planned out and ready to go for you!
The place value activity above is actually what inspired this teen numbers unit.. and the rest of the Empowering Little Mathematicians kindergarten math curriculum!
This unit includes differentiated lesson plans that will guide your students in exploring teen numbers.
If you’re teaching teen numbers in kindergarten, this guided math unit includes everything you need:
- Differentiated lesson plans
- Partner games and activities
- Teen number worksheets
- Family home link (optional homework)
- Math word wall cards
- Math posters
- Teen numbers math centers
With this guided math unit, you don’t have to worry about how to teach teen numbers in kindergarten. I have everything planned out and ready to go for you!
The lessons in this unit build thoughtfully on each other to make sure that important concepts like number sense, place value, and comparing numbers stick.
The bonus teen number math centers help you extend the learning!
If you’re ready to take your math block to the next level, you can grab the Kindergarten Numbers to 20 Unit HERE!
Want an entire year of kindergarten math at your fingertips? You can find the Empowering Little Mathematicians Kindergarten Math Curriculum HERE!