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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
These playdough counting mats provide you with year-long counting practice to set your students up for kindergarten success.
Your preschool classroom makes the foundation of every part of your students’ education, from learning their letters to working out how to navigate social situations with their peers.
Many of the academic skills you’ll be teaching are foundational in nature, and nowhere is this more true than with 1-10 number recognition. Students have to have an understanding of what each digit looks like, and then develop their one to one correspondence, which is where they are able to accurately count a small group of objects by touching each one and saying the correct counting number.
With just one download, you’ll be able to work on these skills in a hands-on manner and watch your students master them throughout the year!
The Benefits of Repeated 1-10 Number Recognition Practice
As with all of the preschool curriculum, the best way to help your students master their 1-10 number recognition is to give them year-long counting practice. This is because they need repeated practice to make the skills stick.
These playdough counting mats make for an excellent hands on counting center as they can practice counting non-physical objects on each picture. The sheer range of items to count means that you can use this packet yearlong to match any theme, from leaves on a tree in fall through watermelon seeds in summer.
Your students will quickly begin to improve their one to one correspondence accuracy and speed if you give them these playdough counting mats throughout the year as an independent math center.
Preparing Your Hands On Counting Center
Teaching With Seasonal Playdough Counting Mats
This packet gives you an instant hands on counting center as you can pick a page to match your current classroom theme, write a target number in the box or use the number cards provided and have students use playdough to complete the picture. However, you can extend this even more with some of these 1-10 number recognition activities:
Partner up – you can turn these playdough counting mats into a paired game by giving each student a laminated page and having them pick the number for their partner. This may come later in the year as each partner has to know what the correct answer looks like!
Make it real – your preschool classroom will be full of one to one correspondence manipulatives, but your students will truly begin to master this skill if they can pick physical versions of the objects from this year-long counting practice center. For example, you could go on a leaf scavenger in fall and bring them back inside for counting practice, or bring in sunflower seeds in spring for them to pick up and count one by one.
Make their own – there are plenty of opportunities for 1-10 number recognition with different themes, but you can also challenge students to make their own version of the cards. The linguistic structure is simple, and they’ll gain confidence in their one to one correspondence as they make their own cards.