I volunteer in Miss Owl’s kindergarten class. It seems anything with color bears and dabbers is highly popular! They all want to practice color and number words with the plastic teddy bear counters. I have seen two kinds. One grandchild has the set of 8 of each of six colors. I have seen several different kinds of color counting bears for sale.Most K-1 classrooms have the 4 color sets of counting bears with 1’s, 10’s, and 100’s. My printable today is in the free eMember area and has all seven colors, depending on what you might have on hand in your class or homeschool resources. Whatever! This printable should work.
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The printable has 92 pages with six color sets in three levels for differentiation. First, children simply match the bears to the ten-frames. While they are enjoying the bears and being successful with the one-to-one correspondence matching, discuss the ten-frame. Point out there are two rows of five (like their hands, which are also important for learning our base-10 number system). Have the child notice the numbers begin at the left and fill toward the right.
This part usually is easy for children. Because the cards are self-correcting, the child is aware of being correct. The next set of cards have just filled circles. This helps the child be more alert to the fact they are adding bears in a certain order. It is a little less fun, but children will still be successful. At this time, point out the number and color words children may have ignored so far. Say the word purple is printed with purple ink. Point to the large number on each card. Oh, they saw that, too, of course!
Next, the children really have to pay attention as none of the circles have color. They have to try to read and figure out where the bears belong. This is where children who are not “subitizing” the tens-frames might have a scattered approach to filling in the circles. Encourage students to work from left to right and filling in every circle left to right. Subitizing helps children not have to count and be more able to quickly recognize an amount. Subitizing is a required skill prior to being able to add or subtract.
Now, here is when the children delighted in using the dabbers (bingo markers). Since this was more permanent, it was easy for them to get carried away and keep on dabbing. This is when the rubber met the road and showed if they were internalizing the ten-frames approach. We recycled a few papers such as above when using dabbers. It really showed if the children were understanding or needed more practice.
Thank you for reading, Carolyn
Again, the color and number word practice with teddy bear counters may be found in our free eMember area.