## Going from Concrete to Visual Representation: Combinations to 10

Every year when I start things rolling in my third grade classroom, I am amazed at the levels of abilities of my students. There are always a handful of students who, for whatever reason, are lacking number sense in big ways. This handful of students typically struggles with making combinations to 10. So I do what any teacher would do best, I re-teach, and re-teach, and re-teach. I always start with a concrete approach first. For example …

## Counting by Tens Matters: A Next Step in Place Value Understanding

How can you help your primary students make the leap from working with small numbers to becoming fluent with larger ones? One way they can start thinking in larger ‘chunks’ is by counting by tens. More than just an oral exercise, counting by tens is an essential skill that builds number sense, encourages thinking about number structures, and economizes counting and operations. Students with a strong conceptual understanding of round numbers, a ‘ten’, and ‘the tens place’ are better prepared to work with two-digit numbers and beyond. In this post, we will share the ideas behind our exercises in the topic Counting by Tens and some additional tips on reinforcing counting skills using Unifix cubes…

## 22 New Exercises to Teach 2-Digit Numbers

We’re so glad you are enjoying our website and we’re excited to bring you a new topic to share with your students! Today, Happy Numbers released our newest topic, Numeration 21-100, to help bring young learners to the next level of mastery in numeracy. The 22 interactive exercises build on previous topics to address several important skills…

## Differentiation Made Easy: A New Feature Comes to Happy Numbers

Since we released an early version of Happy Numbers, we’ve received lots of input from you, our beloved users, on how we can make it better. Your comments, requests, and feedback are an important part of our development process and we are very thankful to you for that. Among the things you asked for, “a possibility differentiating based on ability groups” is for sure at the top of the list. Today we added this functionality to Happy Numbers…

## How to Teach Early Numeracy Using the Number Line

While cubes and other manipulatives support learning by representing numbers, the number line actually develops learning by giving students another look at number relationships. Your primary students may find using a number line more challenging for some concepts. However, it’s important to stick with it as number lines provide learning opportunities for later skills that can’t be replicated with cubes, such as negative numbers, decimals, rounding and graphing.

That’s why at Happy Numbers we include the number line early and often throughout our exercises. In this post, we’ll share some of these activities that you can use with your class at different stages of learning…

## Teacher’s Best Friend: Base-10 Blocks

As your K-1 students move into addition through 10, they will need to relate the concrete to the abstract to transition smoothly. Using base-10 blocks to represent equations is a great way to provide the conceptual understanding of those equations and the strategies for solving them. In alignment with CCSS goals, it builds a much deeper knowledge of addition than just memorizing facts. Assuming your students understand the basics of place value, here are several strategies for teaching addition through 10 with base-10 blocks…

## Place Value: Building a Strong Foundation

Even if your primary students are at the point of knowing number names far beyond 10, this doesn’t guarantee that they can think about and manipulate larger numbers properly, as their knowledge may represent linguistic skills more so than math skills. Early understanding of place value is an important milestone for your students as they advance in numeration and operations. Here are some activities to help your students to move toward this milestone …