Number Cards and Counters


Numerals from 1 to 10 in black on white cards and 55 counters all the same size and color.




To arrange the numerals in their correct order while putting the proper quantity with each.  A minor purpose is to arrange the counters to give a visual impression of odd and even quantities and later to teach the terms "odd" and "even."


4 and a half years and older


The material is taken to the child's table.  The teacher sits beside the child and lays the cards on the table in mixed order.  She asks the child to find "1." When he has done so, she shows him to put the "1" card on the extreme left hand side of the table.  She hands him the box of counters and asks him to put one of them under the "1" card.
She asks the child which numeral comes after "one."  He should be able to tell her, "Two."  She asks him to find the card.  When he has done this, she shows him how to put it next to the "1" card, and she asks him to put two counters below it.
The exercise proceeds with the child finding each numeral in sequence, and putting the correct number of counters under it.  The teacher shows him to arrange the counters in pairs, with the odd ones underneath.


It is obvious that alternate numbers are odd and even but no comment is made at this point.  When the child understands the exercise, he is left to work independently.  The material is kept on a shelf for him to use whenever he likes.

Control of Error

The sum of the numbers 1 to 10 is 55.  Therefore, there are exactly the right number of counters for the exercise.  Should a mistake be made, there will be too many or too few at the end of the exercise, and the child can correct his work.


When the child is doing the exercise easily, the teacher can explain the terms, odd and even numbers.  "These numbers, 1, and 3, end in a single counter.  We call them odd numbers.  Can you find other odd numbers?"  The child will point to 5, 7, and 9.  To reinforce this visually, the teacher could ask the child to push up the odd number cards.
"The number two ends in an even pair of counters, so we call it an even number.  Which other numbers end in an even pair?"  The child points to 4, 6, 8, and 10.  "That's right. 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are even numbers."


In the series of exercises for teaching the understanding of the quantities and the numerals 1 to 10, we guide the child to sequence numbers correctly by building the correct order of the numbers into the first two materials.