Many students struggle with learning the numbers 11 – 20. Students need lots of practice in making a set of ten. This can be done in many ways including ten frames, making bundles of ten with popsicle sticks, or straws or making towers of tens using linking cubes. The students need to understand that the reason 13 is written with the one first is because that 1 stands for 1 group of tens and 3 ones. Learning the numbers 11 – 20 by understanding that the first number is the number of tens and the second number is the number of ones is laying the foundation for understanding place value. Students will build a deeper understanding of tens and ones by using manipulatives.
After using the manipulatives to make and identify tens and ones, the students can move on to games such as, matching numbers to cards with images of tally marks, dice etc.