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  1. #1

    Default 12/20 confusion in math (5 yr old)

    Sorry I did not really know what forum to put this in.

    My 5 year old is having issues with confusion between 12 and 20. I am not really sure how to a) identify what it is about them that is confusing, or b) how to work on it.

    I have searched online and just find lots of stuff about how it is apparently common, and it needs perseverance/patience/repetition, but not really any advice on repetition of what. The only resource I could find involved writing them out lots of times, which seemed really boring.

    Every time we encounter 12/20, either reading them or writing them down, she does not know what one to do. So we go over it every time with the cuisenaire rods, starting with a 10 and counting up in ones to twelve (look it has one ten and 2 ones, so this is what it looks like and this is how we write it etc.) and to twenty (what can we replace the ten ones with, another ten, so we now have two tens and no ones not in a group, so this is what it looks like and this is how we write it etc.). Then she is fine with it until we encounter it again. Do we just need to do this over and over and eventually she will get it. Or is there something else that I should be doing with her?

    She is absolutely fine with all her other teens and beyond twenty, and understands place value and how to read and write those numbers without us needing to discuss it. So I don't know if she just does not remember the names that we give them, or if she for some reason does not get the place value for these numbers.


    For what we are using/have available:
    We are currently mainly using Maths Smart, and supplement with card games, math picture books, and Math Seeds (online). Maths Smart is a curriculum that I could buy in NZ. It is the Singapore method for the Cambridge curriculum requirements, if that makes sense. We have worked through the first chapter on numbers 1-20 and are currently doing comparing and ordering numbers. We have cuisenaire rods and use them a lot to talk about numbers and place value.

    For other resources to use, we have Right Start math card games. I intend to buy Miquon but have not got round to that yet. We tried MEP but I had downloaded and printed stuff for the reception level and then she was past that before we started, and I have not got round to organizing the next level yet (which is why I bought Math Smart, it was easier than downloading and printing stuff at the time). But if either of these would have some activities that might help her I can get myself sorted.

    Thank you for any ideas/help you may have.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 08-22-2018 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Added link to curriculum
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  2. T4L In Forum Dec18
  3. #2

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    That is a hiccup I havent heard of! Is it that she can’t “read” the numbers properly? Is she good on 13 with 30?
    If it is just an idiosyncratic mixup, but she understands the concepts, I would just gently correct or ignore it.... like modeling a tough reading word, or overlooking an ocassional reversed letter.
    You could play games, I guess.... playing blackjack would involve a lot of discernment between having 12 and 20.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  4. #3

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    She can read the digits (0, 1, and 2) but she has no idea if 12 is twelve or 20.

    Have not notice anything with 13 and 30. I just noticed the 12/20 because a lot of the stuff in her Math Smart for the past month or so has had 12 and 20 in it, and it is only focusing on the numbers up to 20 at the moment.

    She likes games. I was struggling to think of one that would be easy for her to learn that would use 12 and 20. I have never played blackjack. There used to be a group in my academic dept that played it every morning tea and lunch break, but I never learned it.

    You are probably right and it is just a hiccup and she will over it in a few months.
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  5. #4
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    Sounds like a hiccup that will pass. In the mean time does she understand place values for 1s and 10s? Maybe make a simple abacus together like this one: https://www.pbs.org/video/crafts-kids-pocket-abacus/ and practice with that. Once the place value is clear then it should just be a matter of reminding her to look at the 10's and 1's to decide if it is 12 or 20. Good luck!

  6. #5

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    Yes she understands the place value. If I try to go over that more she rolls her eyes and takes over the lesson to show me understands it. I think she has an issue with remembering the names. This afternoon she said to me "is nine zero called nineteen or ninety". So it is not just 12/20.
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  7. #6

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    Just to clarify, she knows that 24 is twenty-four (and vice versa), as an example, so it is just the teens and their corresponding ten (at least for 12/20, 19/90, that I have noticed so far).
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  8. #7

    Default

    Yes, it is just a phase that will pass. What you are doing is perfect, explaining it each time. She just needs lots of exposure to the concept and it will eventually stick. Is she a young 5 or is she almost 6?

    One thing that has helped my kids at that age, including my current 5 year old, is to rename the teens temporarily until they can remember. So instead of twelve, we call it "ten-two". We even practice counting that way "...eight, nine, ten, ten-one, ten-two, ten-three...". We call it counting "the math way". I forget which curriculum uses that concept but it is something I've adopted and used no matter what curriculum I'm using for a particular child. We also practice matching the numbers with English words which we call counting "the English way".

    English is one of the few languages where not all number words match their value. In Japanese, for example, number words match their place value, "ichi (1), ni (2), san (3)...hachi (8), ku (9), ju (10), ju-ichi (11), ju-ni (12), ju-san (13)" and continues that way for all numbers, "ni-ju-ichi (21), san-ju-ichi (31), shi-ju-ichi (41)" Teen number confusion is a common problem for children whose native language does not name those numbers by their value. French and Spanish come to mind as other languages with that problem.

  9. #8

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    Hopscotch to 20? or one that goes by 10s, so she will get the hang of which words go with which sets of numbers...

    Or make a silly memory aid, like “old people drink tea, so four-tea, fif-tea, six-tea....” or “Teenagers put themselves first, so if the number starts with a 1, it’s a teen”.

    My little one has pretty noticeable language processing issues, especially when it comes to changing the form of a word (special case past tense is a nightmare!)... he will still sometimes say “fiveteen”, and used to say “oneteen, twoteen” when doing mathwork.

    Good luck! There is no dire need to have the issue fixed immediately, so it is okay if she is fuzzy for a while. It sounds like she is just confused on the closeness of how the number names sound.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  10. #9

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    Thanks for all the ideas everyone. I will try the teaching her the tens way of counting rather than the teens. I had aims of doing that but it fell by the wayside. I think I am just over worrying everything because I know that my mum will jump on it as an evidence of homeschool not working if she finds out.
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

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12/20 confusion in math (5 yr old)