The Naughty Numbers

One of my favorite things about teaching is the people with whom I teach. I love my team.  I really, really do.  I love that we all have our own little set of experiences and talents we bring to the team.  I love that we all love to share.  And I love that we're all brunette ;)  Ha!  Okay, so that last one was a bit of a stretch, but I'm pretty sure brunettes have more fun :) 

All that to be said, one of the best things about having an amazing team is the collaboration that goes on behind the scenes.  It never seems to come from our regularly scheduled planning periods, rather those off the cuff recess conversations...brainstorming during our quick 20 minute lunch break...or a spur-of-the-moment "a-ha" times during our conference hour.  LOVE that.

Last year my teammate and I were talking about how to help our kids with number reversals and she told me about the "naughty numbers" {5 & 6} and how they're naughty because they face the wrong way.  How did I now know about this??!  How have I never seen this genius before?!  It's been staring me right in the face!  So I took that idea and ran with it and made up a little story...and silly little visuals...to help the kids remember the "naughty number" rule.  I know it sounds crazy, but it works EVERY time!  



Zero...the point of origin...is the teacher {where it all starts}.  He is really serious about sequencing his kids when they walk down the hall and his only rule is that they line up in order facing forward.  1, 2, 3, & 4 do just as they're told.  They always follow directions.  But 5 & 6?!?!  Well they're just up to no good and they're always turning around to sneak away from the rest of their class. 1, 2, 3, & 4 have NO idea what's going on behind them because they're always facing the right way.  But 7, 8, & 9 are appalled!!!  They try to tell 5 & 6 to turn around, but they NEVER do!!  They're just so darn naughty!!!  

Somehow this tiny little tale of the naughty numbers seems to resonate with those little friends who have a hard time remembering that a 3 doesn't look like an uppercase capital E, or that a 6 doesn't look like a 2, or that a 9 doesn't look like a P.  When I'm checking their independent work and I see that my friends have number reversals, all I have to say is, "Remember the naughty numbers?!  Go back and look at your work again to make sure those are the only numbers being naughty!!"  I don't immediately tell them what to change at this point in the year because I want them to self monitor their work and get in the habit of double checking for errors.  That little reminder always seems to help!

Praise God for smart teammates and collaboration.  I sure do love feeling smarter than I really am!!!  HA!

28 comments:

  1. PTL for smartie pants team mates! I've never heard of the "naughty numbers" either. Fascinating! I know some firsties who need to hear this story. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I have a first grade niece who really needs to see this! ADORABLE!!!

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  3. I will have to use this story, it's such a great reminder! Also, how am I only seeing now that 5 & 6 are the only ones that face the wrong way?

    Love to Learn

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  4. I have NEVER heard this little tale. Seriously awesome!

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  5. 14 years in first grade and 19 yrs in teaching and I've NEVER caught this! Fascinating and awesome! Thank you - and your team mate for sharing!

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  6. The comments above make me feel better. 17 years in kindergarten and 5 in 1st and I never thought of this. Although I do tell the story of letter Q. Small "q" is the one in line who keeps kicking the person behind him. He always looks forward because he thinks the teacher won't know it's him. When she tells his mother about the behavior, Capital Q, a nasty person, sticks her tongue out at the teacher and won't believe it.

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  7. That is absolutely adorable, I can't wait to share it with my students!
    Sara
    Frampton's FUNdamentals

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  8. I love when kids can find and fix their own mistakes. Great story!

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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  9. This is fantastic. Guess what I'll be showing the kiddos tomorrow?

    Laurie
    First Grade Lyons' Den

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  10. Awesome idea! And yes...brunettes do have more fun. ;)

    Teaching in High Heels

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  11. I love this! I'll be doing this next week.

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  12. BRILLIANT! Sharing with my team {and kiddos} today! Thanks for passing on! :)

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  13. Such a cute and simple idea!

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  14. Hello from Quebec (Canada)! I tried this today with my kids and they loved it!!! Thank you so much!

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  15. What a great idea! Introducing it on Monday!

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  16. Oh my! I cannot WAIT to introduce this to my new group in the fall. Another thing that REALLY helped our kiddos learn to write ALL their numerals correctly is the Dr. Jean song where they sing and practice writing them at the same time. That kinesthetic practice really helped them internalize what each one is supposed to look like!!!

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  17. Amazing. Love this. I am following you now. I am considering moving from 3 years to pre-K. Been offered a new position. You inspire. I love your blog and your heart! Thanks for sharing.
    Sherry

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  18. That is genius! Reminds me of the Secret Stories for phonics I learned in a workshop several years back!
    Whitney
    The First Grade Roundup

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  19. LOVE this and will definitely use it when I go back to school this week. Thank you!

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  20. Wow! All those years in first and this was brand new to me. Truly an awesome "hook" for little learners struggling with this ... everybody loves a good story! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  21. What a cute and brilliant idea! I'm definitely going to tell my little ones about this story tomorrow ;)

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  22. This Idea is very interesting to make familiar young students with the correct shape of the mathematical digits and numbers. It will develop a lot of curiosity in them to learn more and practice more.

    Coursework Help

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  23. That's so brilliant. Any time stories come in (especially about naughty little kids) my students are entranced. And they remember the stories. I can't wait to share this.

    I work with students with dyslexia, and often see number reversals persisting into upper elementary. One of my favorite tricks comes from Virginia Berninger at U Washington. The student looks at the number and talks about what they see (5 -- starts in the starting corner, makes a little line down, it starts to rain and the number curves around, puts a little line on top to stop the rain). Then, they cover up the number and write it from memory. Then they check against the model. The student does that three times. This is a sure-fire way to help students who have YEARS of practice reversing. Great for building the visual representation in memory.

    THANKS!

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  24. Oh my goodness where has this been this entire year! You are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

    Also, since I have taken on teaching I have a lot less time for me so I recently invested in the It Works products and I have fallen in love with the results. So much so that I have started selling it on the side (with all my extra spare time ha!) You should look into the products! Here is a link to my website teacherwifewraps.myitworks.com

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  25. Love this tip! I'm going to share it with my fabulous team on Friday! Perfect for beginning of the year.
    Thanks a ton.
    Stephanie
    Lunch, Snacks, and Recess

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