Hands-On Number Grid

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The Hands-On Number Grid (Lakeshore Learning) will help children develop different math skills. Depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and/or grade, the child can learn the following concepts:

  • identify numbers
  • count by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s
  • match number cubes to numbers on grid
  • identify even and odd numbers
  • sequence numbers
  • count with one-to-one correspondence

Materials

The Hands-On Number Grid contains 101 plastic pieces (1 number grid and 100 cubes). Each cube is numbered individually with printed black numbers 1-100 on one side. Printed white numbers on opposite side of some cubes represent multiples of 5. The color-coded cubes also represent EVEN and ODD numbers. There are 50 green cubes (odd numbers) and 50 blue cubes (even numbers). The numbers on the grid are printed in black. The cubes are easy to grip and the number grid is sturdy.


Identifying Numbers

Children will learn to identify numbers by rote counting. This process includes counting as well as learning number names.


Counting by 1s

When counting by 1s, all number cubes in the grid are represented in black print (e.g., 1-5, 1-20, etc.). This is a great opportunity to introduce and focus on matching, counting with one-to-one correspondence, number recognition, and sequencing.

Counting by 2s

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When counting by 2s, emphasis is on numbers according to cube colors (blue or green). Follow a color pattern when counting by 2s (green cubes = odd numbers; blue cubes = even numbers). Either way, you’re counting by 2s. Start with a few numbers (e.g., 1-10) and increase as child demonstrates understanding when counting by 2s.

Counting by 5s

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When counting by 5s, all number cubes in the grid are represented in black print. Multiples of 5 (i.e., 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, and 100) are represented in white print.

Counting by 10s

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When counting by 10s, all number cubes in the grid are represented in black print. Multiples of 10 (i.e., 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100) are represented in white print.


Odd Numbers

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When counting ODD numbers, emphasis is on the green cubes. Count the green cubes only and you’re counting odd numbers.

Even Numbers

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When counting EVEN numbers, emphasis is on the blue cubes. Count the blue cubes only and you’re counting even numbers.


My experience using the Hands-On Number Grid

In my practice as a special educator and SEIT, I have used the Hands-On Number Grid in a variety of ways. I have worked with children that are unable to identify numbers or count. I have also worked with 3-year-olds that are able to identify every number between 1 and 100. The Hands-On Number Grid can be easily adapted to support all children.


Additional Activities

Ask simple WH questions – This is a great activity I have tried when working in small groups of 3-5 children. Each child has a number cube and I ask one of the following questions:

  • Who has number ___?” The child may respond “me” or “I do.” Also, one child can identify the peer (by name or by saying “he/she”) that has the number ___.
  • What number is this?”
  • Where is number ___?”
  • Which number is missing?” – Remove any number cube (or several number cubes) and ask the child to identify the missing number(s). This activity reinforces identifying numbers and is helpful as children learn sequencing numbers. If exposed to this activity, the child should be able to recognize all numbers used during activity (e.g., 1-5).

Note picture below in which number ‘3’ is missing.

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One-to-one correspondence – “Touch and count” as the child places the cubes in the grid. Start with a few numbers (e.g., 1-5) and increase (e.g., 1-10) as child demonstrates understanding of one-to-one zcorrespondence.

Matching – Place a few cubes (e.g., 1-3) in front of child and count, “1.” Then redirect child to find the number ‘1’ cube. Continue counting “2” and then redirect the child to find the number ‘2’ cube. Start with a few numbers and increase as child demonstrates understanding.

“Before” and “After” – “Which number comes ‘before’ ___?” and/or “Which number comes ‘after’ ___?”

“Counting On” – Children can rote count from a number other than 1 without having to go back and starting at 1. For example, if the child is counting on from 3, you should hear “4, 5, 6, 7, 8 …”


Most children also demonstrated improvement in other areas, including but not limited to:

  • not calling out
  • identifying peer names
  • responding when name is called
  • waiting turn
  • taking turns
  • sharing
  • isolating index finger to point
  • joint attention
  • improved attention span

Suggestions

  • Teaching multiple concepts at once is not a good idea. Teach counting, number identification (i.e., “What number is this?” or “Where is number 6?”), sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence, separately. For example, teach sequencing numbers only after child is able to recognize numbers.
  • Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s should be introduced after child is able to identify all numbers. Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s helps children develop the skills necessary to understand place value, skip counting, and multiplication.
  • EVEN and ODD numbers should be introduced after child is able to identify and sequence numbers.
  • Children should be able to rote count prior to counting on.

Summary

The Hands-On Number Grid is a plastic sturdy grid with 100 plastic cubes. The cubes are color-coded and easy to use. Differentiating the colors is helpful so that children can focus on each individual skill. Children will learn to:

  • identify numbers
  • count by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s
  • match numbers (cubes in grid)
  • identify even and odd numbers
  • sequence numbers
  • count with one-to-one correspondence

Additional Information

Where to buy