Matching Numbers to 20

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Aims and objectives
The pupils will be able to order numbers to 20 and position them on a number grid.

Previous knowledge
The pupils can read and write numbers to 20. They can count on and back in ones. They are familiar with some of the vocabulary used in comparing and ordering numbers.

In the classroom
The pupils are given a 5 by 4 number grid with numbers to 20 written in. One by one, a number card appears. The pupils have to drag this card and drop it onto the matching number in the grid. If they make a mistake, the card snaps back and they have another go. When the grid is complete, the pupils receive praise.

In the next part of the activity, pupils are given the same 5 by 4 grid. This time the numbers are missing.  One by one the number cards appear and the pupils drag them to the correct position on the grid. Even pupils well used to positioning numbers on a number track will find this task tricky. Try it for yourself!

The pupils score is shown at the end of the activity. The higher the score, the more praise the pupil receives.

If the school has access to an interactive whiteboard then this activity is perfect for whole class teaching. The teacher can call out pupils to drag and drop the numbers into the grid to complete the number track. This approach can also be used to encourage children to talk about the activity and describe their decisions, reinforcing their vocabulary.

Support materials description: Resource type:
The first worksheet is more of a tool for the teacher than a worksheet for the pupil. The grids can form the basis of teacher made worksheets or they can be photocopied and given to pupils as part of a whole class mental maths game. Ordering_20.pdf
The second worksheet extends the task by using grids of different shapes. The pupils have to fill in the numbers that are missing. Again, this is far more tricky than positioning numbers on a number track. More able pupils can make grids of their own, perhaps with numbers up to 100. Missing_numbers_20.pdf
The third worksheet moves away from the grids and asks pupils to compare and order sets of given numbers. Asking the pupils to use the same skills in a different way provides the teacher with an excellent method of assessment. Ordering_numbers_20.pdf

Curriculum references
Key Stage 1 - Numeracy Strategy:

  • Count reliably at least 20 objects
  • Read, write and order numbers from 0 to at least 20; understand and use the vocabulary of comparing and ordering these numbers
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