How to Teach Number Recognition in Preschool

Written by jennifer elrod
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How to Teach Number Recognition in Preschool
There are various ways to teach a preschooler his numbers. (hand punching at number key pad image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com)

Teaching number recognition in preschool may seem challenging, at first. Preschool-age students have a short attention span, and usually do better with hands-on learning. This means you will have to find a way to keep the students interested in numbers long enough for them to learn them. According to the U.S. Department of Education, counting things on a daily basis will help students connect a written number with items that number represents. Use a variety of activities with the preschoolers to teach them number recognition. You will be surprised how fast they can pick it up.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Number posters
  • Card stock
  • Glue
  • Sand
  • Jumbo pencils
  • Number manuscript worksheets
  • Counting bears
  • Number flash cards

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Post numbers zero to 10 in the classroom. Find an online site that offers free number printouts. Activity Village.com has some number posters you can print out for use in your classroom. After you print out the number, laminate the page to make it more durable. Make sure it is where the preschool students can see it. Practice counting the numbers every day during circle time.

  2. 2

    Have students trace over the numbers using their finger. Use tactile stimulation cards so the students can feel the number as they trace it. You can make your own cards right in the classroom. Use glue to write a number on a piece of card stock. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle sand over it. Wait until the card is completely dry before you let your students trace the number. Have the students say the number as they trace it with their fingers.

  3. 3

    Have your students trace numbers zero to 10 using a pencil. Print out or purchase manuscript writing worksheets. First School.com has free writing printouts. The students can even colour the page when they are done writing. Let the students use a jumbo pencil to trace the numbers on the worksheet. After they trace a few numbers, let them try writing the numbers on the manuscript line. Tell them to say the number each time they write it.

  4. 4

    Use counting bears to teach number recognition. The teacher counts out a certain number of bears, then writes that number on the board. Allow students to count out bears themselves, then write that number on the board. This is also a good group activity. A student counts out a number of bears, then writes that number on a piece of paper. This activity helps students associate a group of items with a represented number. Each number now means something to them.

  5. 5

    Use number flash cards during circle time each day. Hold up a card and ask the class to say the number out loud. Repeat this process with numbers zero to 10 until they have mastered this set of numbers. You can also send home a set of number flash cards with each student. Simply write the numbers on index cards to make flash cards. To make the cards more durable you can divide a piece of card stock up into eight sections, then write a number in each section. Laminate the page, then cut out the cards. If you are doing numbers zero to 10 you will need at least two pieces of card stock per student.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not push a student over his bounds or understanding. This creates a dislike, and perhaps even adversity toward, the material you are teaching.

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