At the beginning of kindergarten, we work a lot on writing letters and numbers. One of the best strategies for helping students learn and remember new concepts is through music and movement. We love to sing songs and use poems to help us when we are writing numbers in kindergarten.
There is something about the beat of the music and the muscle memory of acting out the motions that makes learning not only more fun for kids, but also helps them store that new learning into their memory. I’m sure there are a few poems and actions you remember from your elementary days, too! That goes to show just how effective it is! I have found that using number formation poems have been so helpful for my students when it comes to learning numbers.
Writing Numbers with Number Poem Rhymes
When we first introduce numbers 1-10, I like to use our number formation poems to teach my students how to correctly form the numbers. The poems have rhyming words, making it easy for students to remember each poem. As they practice writing numbers and saying the poems, they are training their brains to recite the poems when it comes time for them to write the numbers on their own. It is so exciting to walk around the classroom and hear the students reciting the poem quietly to themselves as they form the numbers.
Another great benefit of using number formation poems is that they are very visual. The poem reference sheets show the numbers and have a star showing students where to begin. This helps students learn to write from top to bottom, left to right. Putting the rhyme and the visual together makes it more concrete for students.
Writing Numbers at Home
As we are learning the correct number formation at school, I also like to send these number poem reference sheets with my kindergarten students to practice writing numbers at home. I make a copy for each student to keep in their take-home folders so when they are working on their numbers at home, parents have a reference to look at as well.
You can download the number formation reference sheets to send home with your kiddos for free in my shop!
Using Movement to Practice Number Writing
In our classroom, we use a multi-sensory approach to learning to benefit all of the students. Along with the number poem rhymes, we also incorporate number writing in these fun ways:
- Sky-writing (“write” the number in the air with your finger”)
- Desk writing (trace the number on your desk with dry-erase marker or even use shaving cream)
- Tracing over the number poem sheets with highlighter, crayon, pencil, etc.
- Tracing the number sheets with our fingers.
- Using sensory materials and fine motor tools, such as tracing with a paintbrush in a tray of colored rice.
- Using Boom Cards to practice tracing and forming numbers on the iPad.
Number Practice Mini Books
We also use these mini foldable books to help practice number formation in our classroom. They are a fun way to practice writing the numbers, and showing them in multiple ways. We learn a lot about how to show a number in a ten frame, using counters, and drawing pictures to represent numbers throughout the year.
How to Use the Number Books
Page 1: Focus number
Have your students say the number, then decorate it with crayons, markers, or colored pencils. They can use multiple colors to rainbow write the number, or even decorate it with stickers or glitter. The more fun and engaging you can make the learning, the better!
(Pro tip: If you do have them decorate with something that needs to dry, do not fold the books until after each page is completed)
Page 2: Writing practice
Your students can practice tracing the numbers using the number rhymes they learned. They also have the opportunity to write the numbers on their own using proper number formation.
Page 3: Show the number
On this page, they will show the number in the ten frame using dots or stickers. The goal is to be able to recognize the number in the ten frame without needing to count. Then we color the cubes to show how many for numbers 1–10. Starting with the number 11, they will fill the equation by writing how many ones are in the number.
Page 4: Drawing representation
After they trace the number word, they will color the stars for numbers 1-10. Then they will show that number by drawing objects in the box. They can also label their drawing by writing “3 hearts” or whatever they drew.
We work really hard on number formation in kindergarten since it builds a great foundation for their mathematical success in years to come. If you are needing more ideas for teaching math in kindergarten, you can check out these blog posts.