Make Number Formation Fun With Daisy and Derek

What is Number Formation?

pay, digit, number

Number formation is the way in which children need to move their pencil in order to form a number correctly. It takes a lot of thought initially as there are so many variables to think about:

  • what the number looks like
  • where to start writing the number and,
  • which direction to move the pencil

This is before the children can even begin to work with the number and so the process of number formation needs to become automatic in order to allow children to complete the task associated with the number.

Number Formation in the Early Years

Children can’t form written numbers until they are able to hold a pencil correctly and have developed good pencil control. However, there are a number of things that can be done to make the process of writing numbers easier before the children pick up a pencil and write them. Number formation can be done in the air with a variety of equipment – light sabres, magic wands, scarves, pom-poms etc. Add music and repeat the patterns using big movements in the air. Alistair Bryce-Clegg writes in more detail about Jedi writing on his blog ABC Does. Once the children are able to write using pencils they will at least be familiar with the starting position and direction.

Multisensory Number Formation

There are a number of multisensory activities that children can take part in to develop a greater awareness of numbers and their formation.

  • Build a number using plasticine or playdough.
  • Write numbers in flour, gloop, sand, shaving foam, rice etc.
  • Fill ziploc bags with paint to write on.
  • Make numbers using different objects – pipe cleaners, collage, duplo bricks in playdough.
  • Draw numbers on each other’s backs.
  • Follow a number track with a car.

Number Formation with Daisy and Derek

Daisy and Derek teach number formation using visual pictures, rhymes and physical actions. There are 10 picture cards, each have a photograph of either Daisy or Derek making a number with their body and the occasional prop. There is an accompanying rhyme and arrows indicate the direction that the number needs to be written.

The cards can be used in a number of ways –

  • Children will have great fun trying to make the numbers with their own bodies. Take photographs like the ones of Daisy and Derek and display alongside them.
  • Teach the children the rhymes as you model how to write the numbers.
  • Children use the picture cards to copy while writing/making their own numbers.
  • Use them as flashcards to support number recognition.

For more math’s activities visit some of my previous blogs. There are blogs on:

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