browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Quality of Numbers ~ Mathematics block 1

Tristan 2006/2007

  Starting first grade mathematics with the quality of numbers is brilliant. Reflecting the essence of numbers. I can’t understand why it’s not done in traditional schools. This really forms the basis of understanding what is in each number. Here below is the work of Evan done this past year and Tristan which was done in the years 2006/2007.

Each of the numbers is represented with a picture, the pictoral number, written forms in english and french, and roman number as well. Small explanation of the drawing is giving under each picture.

1 is unity, one whole, one world, one 'me', I am unique ~ Evan 2010


2 is duality or opposites, day and night, light and dark, cold and hot, big and small ~ Tristan 2006


3 is the Trinity, the triangle, the family, mother, father and child ~ Tristan 2006

4 is the earth, earth’s four seasons, earth’s four cardinal points, earth’s four elements
                                                                      ~ Evan 2010
5 is our fingers on each hand, our toes on each foot, a starfish has 5 points
                                                                  ~ Evan 2011


6 is represented with insects, all insects have 6 legs ~ Tristan 2010

7 is the days of a week, Snow White and her seven dwarfs ~ Evan 2010

8 is the number of legs on a spider~ Evan 2010/2011

9 is how many months I spent in mommy's tummy ~ Tristan 2006

10 is how many fingers and toes I have ~ Evan 2010


11 are the players on a professional soccer team, 11 is divine the pillars between heaven and earth ~ Tristan 2006

12 is the hours on a clock and the months in a year ~Tristan 2006/ 2007

 It may seem a little simple to start grade one mathematics this way, but with everything in life, it’s necessary to take all the steps needed in order to build a strong foundation that will support much more complex notions of later grades. Understanding what is “in” each number allows the child to develop a clear inner picture of the number rather than an abstract one.

Along with this program, I complemented their learning experience with traditional board games: chess, mancala, stratego, tangrams, cards and a series of easily constructed homemade math games from one of my favorite books called “Games for Math” by Peggy Kaye. I think it’s important to step away from too many mental math exercises and instead engage the children into hands-on pratical projects to further enhance the lessons given.


homemade number memory



homemade tangrams


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *