Numeration of the Decimal Sytem

Exercise 3: Group Game Identifying Numerals




To give the children practice in reading and composing numerals to 9999


4 and one half years and older


This is a group exercise for 3 to 5 children who have all reached this stage.
The children help the teacher lay out the large number cards on a table so that they can all be seen.  The cards are laid in columns, unit cards on the right and thousand cards on the left.  The children stand in front of the table at all times so that they see the number cards the right way up. The teacher can stand behind the table.  Should any children come to watch, they too must stand in front of the table.  The teacher places a number card on the tray, for example, "100" and shows it to the children.  She asks, "Who knows how much this is?"  Any child may answer. She returns the card to its place and puts another on the tray for someone to identify.  The exercise continues in this way.  (Note: At first just one number card is placed on the tray for identification.)
Another day the exercise could be reversed.  The teacher could ask the children to select number cards and put them on the tray.  She would ask, "Who can put 2000 on the tray?"  "Who could find 500?" etc.  Again there is no taking turns, but rather everyone joins in all the time.
There will need to be much practice over a period of time.  When the children are doing the work easily, the teacher will compose numerals of more than one hierarchy by superimposing different hierarchies.  An example of this is "4300."  If the children are hesitant about reading the numeral, the teacher should separate the cards and spread them out on the tray.  She will then superimpose the numerals again, naming them as she does so,  "This is four thousand, this is three hundred, so we put them together to make four thousand, three hundred."  The exercise is carried out many times on subsequent days, until the children can compose any numeral they are asked for, or read any numeral composed by the teacher.