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Mathematic Lesson Descriptions

Sandpaper Numbers

sandpaper numbers.JPG

Age: 3 ½-4 years

Materials: green cards (approximately the size of sandpaper letter cards) with sandpaper numerals from 0-9

Purpose: to introduce number symbols up to 9


  1. place all cards at the upper right corner of a table where you will work with the child

  2. center one numeral card on the table

  3. place left hand on the side of the card

  4. trace number with two fingers and say the name of the number

                 -gracefully use wrist, distinct steps at each end of the number (stopping drastically)

  5. give the number to the child for the child to trace and repeat the name

  6. when done put at the upper left of the table in a pile

  7. do first three numbers and continue with other numbers when child knows the previous three 

Red and Blue Rods With Numbers

red and blue rods with numbers.JPG

Age: 3 ½ - 4 years

Materials: red and blue rods, a set of numbers from 1-10 tall enough to stand up against the rods

Purpose: to match the abstract number to the correct rod


  1. place rods on a floor rug correctly

  2. take one number out at random and ask the child the number

  3. count the ends of each rod to find the number

  4. place the number under the rod while holding the end of the rod with other hand

  5. repeat with two or three more rods

  6. have the child finish the rest of the rods

  7. show child that the numbers stand up

  8. clean up work and put away one rod at a time

Cards and Counters

cards and counters.JPG

Age: 4 years 

Materials: ten numeral cards from 1-10, fifty-five discs for counters

Purpose: to reinforce sequence of numbers and to introduce the concept of odd/even numbers


  1. on a floor rug place numbers out at random

  2. place first three numbers at the top edge of the rug (starting from left going right) in order

  3. give the box of counters to the child

  4. point to the number one and ask the child to recite the number

  5. ask child to count out the counters at the bottom of the rug next to the box

  6. slide the counter under the number one

  7. continue with all three numbers 

    1. slide two as a pair

    2. continue to slide pairs with even numbers

  8. show that three has one left over

  9. let child continue until all numbers are complete

  10. when the child is done introduce even numbers

  11. show odd numbers have one left over, show even numbers have pairs and flip over odd

  12. have child read even numbers while teacher points at the number

  13. teacher reads even numbers

  14. continue repeating even numbers with eyes closed

  15. ask child to do the same

  16. the next day introduce odd numbers the same drastically pointing out that they do not have a partner

Short Bead Stair

short bead stair.JPG

Age: 4 years 

Materials: one set of colored bead bars (each bar is a different color; there is a bar representing each quantity from 1-9), one set of numerals from 1-9

Purpose: to get familiar with the number association to the colored bead bars 


  1. at a table lay numbers out in order starting from the top of the table and going down

  2. choose one bead and count

  3. place bead under the corresponding number

  4. continue with all beads

  5. review all beads and numbers

  6. to go further, take one bead away and ask what color is missing

Spindle Boxes

spindle box.JPG

Age: 4 years

Materials: 2 wooden boxes: each box is divided into five compartments with numerals on the back: 0-4 and 5-9, one box that contains 45 wooden spindles

Purpose: to reinforce child’s understanding of number names


  1. place the two boxes and spindles at a table

  2. place the box with the spindles next to the box that has zero

  3. point to the numbers and let the child read them to you- starting with one and continuing to nine

  4. allow child to count one spindle in your hand

  5. count the spindle back into both of the child’s hands

  6. child puts the spindle in the container

  7. repeat these steps with all the numbers and spindles

  8. explain zero to the child- zero is the empty set, it requires nothing

  9. clean up work

Teen Board

teen board.jpg

Age: 4 years and up

Materials: teen boards and wooden numeral cards, nine golden tens, one set of short bead stair

Purpose: to learn teen numbers

Presentation: Beads Only-1st day

  1. build bead stair on a floor rug

  2. place all tens on mat making a square on the left side of the bead stair

  3. pick up the first set of beads always starting with a ten bead

  4. line a ten and the red bead at the top of the mat

    1. explain that we added 1 ten and the 1 bead to make 11

    2. 10+1=11

  5. continue with all numbers

Numbers Only-2nd day

  1. open the box containing the boards on a floor rug

  2. place the lid under the box

  3. lay out the boards in the middle of the floor rug

  4. lay out out numbers in order on the right side of the rug

  5. close box and place on the bottom of the rug

  6. show child the first 10 and ask what number it is

  7. explain that you are going to add one to the ten

  8. slid the number one on the board and have child read the number 11

  9. continue with all numbers

  10. repeat the names of all the numbers when sliding a unit on the tens

  11. review all numbers

Association with Beads and Numerals-3rd day

  1. lay out teen boards with the bottom of the board touching the bottom of the rug

  2. set up numbers 1-9 on the left side of the rug

  3. match the beads to the numbers-unit beads matched to unit numbers

  4. put box away-either on the top of the rug or back on the shelf

  5. point out the number ten on board

  6. start with ten bead

  7. place next to the first ten on the board

  8. add red bead next to teen board

  9. add number to board “now we made it say 11”

  10. 10+1=11

  11. continue with all numbers

Hundred Board

hundred board1.JPG

Age: 4 years and up

Materials: the one hundred board, numerals 1-100 on wooden tiles, a container for the tiles

Purpose: to reinforce counting


  1. at a table or floor rug take out one number 

  2. show child how to organize numbers by grouping them in their respected tens

  3. when placing numbers in categories or tens make sure all the vertical numbers are touching-all 40s touching each other

  4. take out each number at random after placing one of each category on top of table or rug and place under correct column

  5. put board on left side of numbers

  6. continue organizing with all numbers

  7. when all numbers are organized place numbers correctly on board

  8. place numbers on board using one column at a time

  9. when column is complete slide the next column to the left of the board

  10. continue placing numbers until all numbers are on the board

Golden Beads With Numerals 

decimal tray with numbers.JPG

Age: 4 years and up

Materials: a tray containing; 1 golden unit bead, 1 golden ten bead, 1 golden hundred bead, 1 golden thousand bead, tray with color coordinated numbers 1,10,100 and 1000

Purpose: to introduce names and relative sizes in hierarchy of numbers


  1. take materials to a table and start by naming the one and ten bead

  2. ask the child to repeat the names of the numbers by pointing to the bead

  3. continue with the hundred and thousand bead

  4. once the child can name the beads introduce the numbers

  5. point to a bead and ask child the name of the bead

  6. place the corresponding number on the bead and say, “This is one unit, this says one unit.”

  7. continue with all beads

Stamp Game

stamp game.JPG

Age: 4 years and up

Materials: 9-thousand paper stamps, 20-hundred paper stamps, 20-ten paper stamps, 20-unit (ones) paper stamps, pencil and paper

Purpose: familiar with the idea of abstract addition


  1. at a table an adult will write out an addition problem using a thousand, hundred, ten and unit for each number

  2. take out corresponding thousands, hundreds, tens and units from the top number on paper and place stamps towards the top of the table or mat

  3. leaving a space from the top number, take out corresponding thousands, hundreds, tens and units from the bottom number on paper and place stamps under the first set of stamps

  4. slide all ones together, then tens, hundreds, thousands

  5. count all ones, then tens, hundreds, thousands

  6. record answer on the paper after counting each category

  7. replace the stamps 

  8. allow the child to work independently

  9. stack numbers accordingly and place back inside of the envelope

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