Friday, February 22, 2013

Making it Count

I was struggling trying to figure out how and when to introduce the concept of zero to Doug. I thought that if I introduced zero first and he got a number surprise box full of nothing that it would seriously piss Doug off and put him off the number surprise box. I thought that if I delayed its introduction too long, that Doug wouldn't understand that it goes before all the other numbers he knows and not after and that it is indeed less.

 Then one afternoon, it hit me. A number line! I thought about how I wanted to construct it and then I fired up my trusty ole laminator. I used card stock and printed up numbers 0-20 using a rainbow of colors. After I laminated them, I cut them out and attached some velcro using the sides of the laminated pages as tabs:

A bit hard to see due to the camera flash, but nap time seems like its going to be cut short, so I don't have time to re-shoot. There are two tabs on the front side and two on the back side. They all fit very nicely together. I started with the 0-20, but we can add more, all the way up to 100, as we learn along.

Evidently the 20 is just off to the side of the frame, but you get the idea.

Doug loves playing with it. It becomes a roller coaster, a parking lot or train tracks depending on what he wants to drive over it. 

I like to play a number game with it. I put out the number line and we count up and touch each of the numbers as we assemble it, taking special care to point out our number of the week. Once it's all together I ask Doug to bring me the week's number in certain objects.

For example, I asked him to bring me eight cars:

And then eight fish:

And then we ran out of Disney/Pixar toys, but you get the idea. We never put anything on the 0 obviously, but we talk about how it's a place holder. I know that Doug doesn't grasp that concept quite yet, but I've begun to plant the seed. I plan to cover the number zero after we do the number ten.
Happy counting!

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