Thursday, November 7, 2013

Teaching the Teen Numbers!

We are officially all in on working with the teen numbers in kindergarten. My students are absolutely loving all of the activities we've been doing. They've actually picked up on these number concepts pretty well and I could not be more proud!

We've been going through numbers 11-19, one number a day, for the past couple of weeks. We got into a groove with our numbers routine so that now, the kids know exactly what they need to do.

First, to introduce the numbers, we watched this great video from Harry Kindergarten on YouTube. Not familiar with his videos? You should be!!! He has created such amazing videos and songs for practically every kindergarten learning concept you can think of. First up... Numbers in the Teens (They Start With a 1!):

We used this one to remind ourselves how to write our teen numbers. It reminds them, "Numbers in the teens, they start with a 1!"
We also love his Numbers in the Teens Have a Group of 10! song:

The first time we watched the group of 10 song, I wanted my kids to have a deeper understanding of how the numbers are made. We talk about numbers as much as we can during our daily routines such as calendar time. I'll often say teen numbers as "One group of ten, and ___ left over." For a little hands on practice with these place value concepts, I pulled up the Houghton Mifflin website where they have some great online math resources. To get to the teaching tools, click on Mathematics - HM Math 2007 - Grade (K-6) - Teaching Tools - E-Manipulatives. (Apologies if the names are different depending on what state you live in!) I used the digital connecting cubes math mats to model while the students had their own real cubes and whiteboards to follow along. First, the students drew a big circle on their whiteboards and put ten cubes inside.

Then, to make the number, I'd ask them, "How do you make the number 12?" And we'd say "One group of ten, and two left over. Then they put the "2 left over" outside of the circle to show both parts of the number. We used mini-whiteboards to then actually practice writing the number we made.

Here's another example of using the digital manipulatives where we made the number 19:

We did this activity for 3 days, doing 3 teen numbers a day. Then we'd launch into our number of the day. Every day we completed these FANTASTIC number booklets from Growing Kinders' Fun With Numbers Part 2 pack. She has a book for numbers 11-20, and my kids love them! They've gotten so much better at number identification, writing tally marks, representing numbers, etc. as a result of Kathleen's unit. So if you ever read this.... thank you Kathleen! My students adore your activities. :)

We've also done a ton of practice with tens frames, which give the students a great visual of how numbers are made. I picked up this awesome giant magnetic ten frame set from Lakeshore and I love that I can easily leave it up on the board every day.

We also made use of these great double ten frame mats from the blog Primarily Speaking (seriously... she has 4 different 10 frame mats for free... and they are great!) My kids used different kinds of manipulatives to practice making different teen numbers. Their counting has improved so much, especially on those tricky 11-13 teen numbers. They always seem to have the most trouble with these 3 numbers year after year because they don't actually say the single-digit number in the number name like the others do. Does that even make sense? Oh well, it did in my mind... ha!

We will finally get to the number 20 tomorrow. The kids can't even wait. They were practically giddy with delight that we were going to get to... TWO GROUPS OF TEN! Ha! We are having a blast in math! What ways have you found success with teaching the teen numbers to your kiddos?


  1. I love Harry Kindergarten, but don't they block Youtube at your school? Em

    1. They do block YouTube to the students, but it lets me access it with my district username/password. :)

  2. download Youtube videos at home by pasting URL into

  3. You can also go to