Finding appropriate learning materials for young learners is an essential teaching task. Although various books and educational resources are available in the current age, it is imperative to select strategies that can address necessary development areas and promote the acquisition of crucial skills. A pertinent growth opportunity is the sphere of number sense, which could be approached with the use of multiple methods. This paper identifies 12 textbooks that teach pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and second-grade children to understand numbers, counting, and sets, as well as 12 songs, fingerplays, word games, and poems promoting number sense and operations awareness.
Knowing Numbers: Textbooks for Young Learners
Pre-Kindergarten Numerical Education
Books teaching number sense are a valuable resource for pre-kindergarten students. A good publication is the Skip Counting By Twos, Threes, Fives, and Tens textbook by DiPaolo (2011), which establishes an understanding of numbers and the skip method of counting. Through exercises based on this approach, children learn to understand the order of numbers, the symbols behind quantities, and the primary attributes of correct counting, which contribute to the development of number sense. In addition, completing these activities creates a basis for future understanding of multiplication.
A prominent textbook on the features of counting provides an illustrated guide to various types of number actions. Bear Counts by Karma Wilson (2017) offers pre-kindergarten children both an insight into numerical relationships and the possibility to learn efficient counting. The children explore numbers and related concepts by learning the story of a bear and his interaction with friends, receiving the necessary information through storytelling, and examining illustrations.
Another book involving storytelling for pre-kindergarten students discusses number sets and quantities, explaining the differences between smaller and larger numbers. Click, Clack, Splish, Splash by Doreen Cronin (2006) is an example of a well-recognized publication suitable for Especially young children. The book only covers numbers one to 10 and is focused on the adventures of a duck and his friends on a rescue mission.
Several resources address the needs of children with special needs and disabilities, offering necessary knowledge necessarily. For instance, Numeracy for All Learners: Teaching Mathematics to Students with Special Needs by Tabor et al. (2021) provides examples of educational activities for students with disorders that impede learning. The book discusses similar concepts as its analogs, namely number sense, counting, and numbers one to 10 but adopts a distinct approach suitable for special needs classes.
Kindergarten Number Learning Books
Educating kindergarten students on the concepts of numbers and counting requires distinct studying materials. A praised publication on number order and types is the book Number Mystery by Loreen Leedy (2015), who uses interesting exercises and animals to explain necessary notions. In addition, the examples included in the book also discuss how numbers are typically utilized in the real world, allowing children to learn how numbers can be a message of overcoming specific challenges.
A colorful illustration textbook, One Is A Snail Ten Is A Crab, addresses similar topics by presenting countable examples from the animal world. The children can learn such skills as number sense, symbols, and addition by counting animal legs and comparing sets of numbers less than ten (Sayre & Sayre, 2006). Considering that the presented exercises are unconventional and creative, the book is bound to interest young learners. This interesting approach to education also prompts children to discover mathematical rules on their own, which can substantially impact their self-esteem and aid in developing self-assurance.
The textbook Feast For 10 adopts a culturally rich approach, introducing a story about an African American family. Written by Cathryn Falwell (2017), this publication is perfectly suited for kindergarten students, prompting them to use numbers in shopping, cooking, and eating activities. Apart from developing strong number sense and counting techniques, the textbook implements real-world examples to better acquaint the children with situations necessitating the knowledge of numbers. Considering this detail, these materials might positively influence the readers’ self-esteem and confidence regarding counting activities.
Another suitable textbook is a part of Follow The Line series, which offers a smooth journey into the world of numbers. Follow The Line To School Laura Ljungkvist (2011) engages learners in searching and counting tasks, asking them to make connections and recognize numerical patterns in various illustrations depicting the real world. Although the group is primarily focused on counting, the concepts of number sets and order can also be practiced with its help.
2nd-grade numerical education
Advancing to primary school requires using more sophisticated learning materials. the book 5 Creatures, written by Jenkins (2005), can be an excellent educational exercise for 2nd-grade students, which focuses on the development of number sense and operations, presenting tasks related to addition and subtraction. A significant benefit of the book is the inclusion of various personal characteristics and interests of involved people, which enhances the audience’s real-world knowledge.
Number sense is a crucial capability taught to primary school students. The book Clothesline Math: The Master Number Sense Maker is an excellent example of a textbook aimed to develop this group of skills. The author focuses on a set of exercises that promote the children’s understanding of quantities and their representations, the concepts of more or less, and sequences of numbers (Shore, 2018). The activities are based on a strategy called clothesline, which is an open number line that allows the teacher and the learners to discuss such topics as written and spoken symbols, ordinal nominal, and cardinal numbers, as well as examining relationships between single and grouped items at the 2nd-grade level.
The book Number Worlds, devised for young students with special needs, helps them to understand vital ideas that promote the development of strong number sense and sequencing. The materials included in the book are presented in consideration of the learner’s abilities and demands, focusing on counting, writing and speaking numbers, and constructing small sets (Griffin, 2007). With supplementary materials available for studying, this textbook is a perfect option for disabled or special education students.
Interactive Content to Promote Mathematical Learning
Children often benefit from the inclusion of singing activities in their curriculum. An excellent song promoting understanding of numbers is The Animals Went In Two By Two, which addresses sequencing and number order (Appendix A). Another prominent song is Five Little Monkeys Swinging From A Tree, which teaches the children to count backward and promotes number sense development (Appendix B). Ten Green Bottles follows a similar idea, focusing on subtraction one by one (Appendix C). Overall, these songs constitute a diversified approach to learning through interactive content.
Gamification of education is another pertinent approach to number learning, allowing the teachers to adapt the tasks and engage children in play activities. Fingerplaying is an essential entertaining activity that promotes learning and understanding of numbers. For example, Five Little Hot Dogs is a combination of singing and fingerplays that asks the children to count cooking hot dogs (Preschool Inspirations, 2017). The actions include portraying how the sausages are thrown into the pan, cooked, and retrieved. Bubble, Bubble, Pop also educates young learners on methods of counting using underwater actions, finger counting, and fish impersonations (Preschool Inspirations, 2017). Furthermore, Here is the Beehive interprets a famous fingerplay that starts with the closed hands representing the beehive, asking the children to raise fingers to count leaving bees (Preschool Inspirations, 2017). Altogether, introducing these activities into the child’s leisure and education is essential for number sense advancement.
Word games can also be a beneficial inclusion into the maths program for young students. The British Council (2016) adaptation is an interactive experience that asks the children to match symbols with words using Spanish. A popular game is Number Pieces, which uses blocks comprised of ones, tens, and hundreds. As the game continues, the children disassemble the pieces to learn about decomposition. Higher and Lower is another example of a word game that necessitates ordering various types of numbers, as well as fractions and decimals. Poems are also highly advantageous for children’s learning. For example, the Spanish poem Manzanita del Perú and an English poem Ten Little Indians teach number sequencing (Appendix C, D). Five Fat Sausages promotes subtraction awareness.
Cronin, D. (2006). Click, Clack, Splish, Splash: Click, Clack, Splish, Splash. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
DiPaolo, C. (2011). Skip Counting by 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s. Third Press.
Falwell, C. (2017). Feast For 10. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Five Fat Sausages. (n.d.). Web.
BBC School Radio. (n.d.a). The animals went in two by two. Web.
BBC School Radio. (n.d.b). Five little monkeys swinging from a tree. Web.
Griffin, S. (2007). Number Worlds, level d, grade levels 1-2, teacher edition. McGraw-Hill.
Jenkins, E. (2005). Five Creatures. Square Fish.
Leedy, L. (2015). Missing math: A number mystery. Two Lions.
Ljungkvist, L. (2011). Follow the line to school. Viking Books for Young Readers.
Mcilroy, A. T. (2018). 10 counting songs to teach your kids. Empowered Parents. Web.
Preschool Inspirations (2017). Fabulous fingerplays that will educate and entertain. Web.
Sayre, A. P., & Sayre, J. (2006). One is a snail, ten is a crab: A counting by feet book. Candlewick.
Shore, C. (2018). Clothesline math: The master number sense maker. Teacher Created Materials.
Spanish Rhymes with Numbers. (2012). Web.
Tabor, P. D., Dibley, D., Hackenberg, A. J., & Norton, A. (2021). Numeracy for all learners: teaching mathematics to students with special needs. SAGE.
Ten Little Indians. (n.d.). 2021, Web.
The British Council. (2016). Web.
Wilson, K. (2017). Bear Counts. Little Simon.