Q&A #19623

Ordinal numbers in first grade

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From: Claire (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 05, 2008 at 16:43:30
Subject: Re: Ordinal numbers in first grade

Before using pictures I'd look for natural ways that ordinal numbers come up
in the day. A line of kids waiting to go to lunch or recess is a good way to
start. You could make a game of it. What is the color of the third child's
shirt? Which student has pink barrettes in her hair? Do you have a daily
calendar activity? That's another natural place to practice ordinal numbers.
We say "the first of June," "the Fourth of July," etc.

I'd also link ordinal numbers to sequences of events. What do we do first,
second, etc, when we get up in the morning? Integrate it into language arts
by having children sequence events in a story. Rhymes and stories are good
opportunities -- the three little pigs!

I like children to experience concepts in as many contexts as possible, and
not develop narrow ideas about how we use language. The very notion of
ordinal numbers implies a direction. When you talk about something pictorial,
I'd say the object at the "front" of the line is the first one, according to
which way they are facing. In a line of objects that has no natural
direction, I'd specify "second from the left" or "fourth from the right" to
avoid confusion.

 -Claire, for the T2T service

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