Young children are taught numeracy using concrete materials. As they progress through their school years, too often, the teacher jumps to using just numbers and forgets that some children still need hands-on materials. I use different methods with hands-on materials such as buttons, tape measures, or rulers, drawing diagrams to help with children's concepts of numbers.
The photo on the left shows a 5 year old sorting some vehicle counters. They were having trouble counting up to 20. They also had trouble pointing to each vehicle in time with them saying the number. I came up with an idea to lay out the vehicles in types and then they could count each one. After counting each vehicle we then sorted the vehicles into groups of colours, and then counted them all up. My skill is coming up with unique creative, fun ways to teach children, so that they don't even realise they are learning.
Using hands-on materals.
Laying out counters in rows and columns can help children understand why 3 x 4 is 12. How do they count? Do they count by ones, or twos? Can they count by 3 up to 30?