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Tricky Teen Numbers Activities

Tricky Teen Numbers Activities

Our Teen Numbers Activities are guaranteed to teach your kids the difference between Teen and Ty numbers in no time! No more confusions from those tricky teens we promise!s

Teaching Teen Numbers pinterest image
It’s official, the Teen numbers are Tricky for all concerned!
 
It can be a real headache to teach them and kids can really struggle with the difference between teen and Ty (thirTY/ thirTEEN) numbers and end up getting them totally confused. I have seen it first hand in many a classroom, so the teen numbers, including number elven and twelve, can be a real problem for your kids.
 
Now the thing is you may not realise that the kids are confused. Kids are clever at hiding their misunderstandings and have some great strategies that help them get the answers right, but for the wrong reasons! And they’re even better at being cute and eager to please the teacher, so you wouldn’t really know if they understood until you asked them the right question. “How do you know that?”

 

Tips For Teaching Teen Numbers

So what’s the story with the teen numbers?  Well the thing about teen numbers is that they are a special family of numbers. They are different because they don’t follow the usual number pattern rules like the other numbers.

Also, they are easily confused with the TY numbers when their names are said out loud. So thirteen sounds very similar to thirty!

Teen numbers are tricky and when it comes to teaching them they will drive you to bang your head on the desk. They are in a league of their own!

Here’s why they’re special and kids find them difficult. Teen numbers:

 
  • Are the first set of two digit numbers greater than ten that kids learn. They are also the first introduction into place value. It would be so much easier if the twenty numbers were first!
  • They have their own name, ‘teen’ and don’t follow the Ty naming conventions like other two digit numbers. E.g. Twenty, Thirty, Forty etc
  • To make things even more tricky there’s eleven and twelve!!! 

Oh my no wonder things are really confusing for the kids! 

So what’s the story with the teen numbers?  Well the thing about teen numbers is that they are a special family of numbers. They are different because they don’t follow the usual number pattern rules like the other numbers.

Also, they are easily confused with the TY numbers when their names are said out loud. So thirteen sounds very similar to thirty!

Teen numbers are tricky and when it comes to teaching them they will drive you to bang your head on the desk. They are in a league of their own!

Here’s why they’re special and kids find them difficult. Teen numbers:

 
  • Are the first set of two digit numbers greater than ten that kids learn. They are also the first introduction into place value. It would be so much easier if the twenty numbers were first!
  • They have their own name, ‘teen’ and don’t follow the Ty naming conventions like other two digit numbers. E.g. Twenty, Thirty, Forty etc
  • To make things even more tricky there’s eleven and twelve!!! 

Oh my no wonder things are really confusing for the kids! 

How To Teach Kids The Teen Numbers

So what can you do about it?

My number one tip is to make sure you talk about the fact that they everyone thinks teen numbers are tricky to learn.

Talk with your kiddos about how people get confused between these numbers and that it ok to be confused.  Talk with them about a strategy to help with their confusion. And that just bumbling along is not an option. Give them some words or a series of steps to follow if they are unsure and need to seek clarification.

In my role as a numeracy coach I have been privileged to work alongside some excellent practitioners.  During one of these shoulder-to-shoulder coaching sessions we once spent a whole lesson purposefully mumbling the numbers to the kids in an effort to teach them to teach them to ask the teacher to repeat what they said, instead of just nodding along. True Story!

It took a while before the kids realised that it was ok to ask the teacher to say something again!!!  Which also paid off in on entry testing, where our kids all asked for clarification during the tests which skyrocketed our results! Another True Story! You should try it

Once it’s out in the open that teen numbers are tricky use lots of modelling and the ‘think aloud’ strategy whenever they come up in discussion. Using a think aloud you can verbalise what you do in your head to deal with the confusion. This teaches the kids how to think and deal with the same issues!

But the BEST teaching hack EVER, when it comes to teens is to teach them that a teen number is really a ten and some more!

So thirteen would be ten and three more, fourteen would be ten and four more and so on! Try it with your kiddos. 

With these basic understandings then all you need is LOTS off practice. So here’s some fabulous teen number games, printables and math center activities for you to download.

Click here to see all our number activities 0-20

Teen Numbers Activities For Kids

Teen Strip Puzzles & Make Your Own Puzzles

Colour/Color By Code

Numbers 11-20 worksheets product link image
This worksheet pack is great for review, practice and even assessment. There's US & Non Us Spellings. We also made it so there's 2 versions, a 1 page or a 2 page version, so you differentiate the activities for your students. Page 1 is focussed on formation and and features, odd, even, before and after, greater than/smaller than. Page 2 is focussed on Place Value understanding, tens and ones and simple number facts. We also added a cover page so you can print it into a student booklet, perfect for morning work and homework.
Numbers 11-19 puzzles product image
Teach your students about the teen numbers and their friends with this bright , fun and motivating Rearrange the pieces Puzzles Pack! Your students will learn about 11-19 and place value.These are Easy Cut Teen Numbers & Their Friends (11-19) puzzles and are perfect for your math centers. Just print onto A4 laminate to reuse and you’re all set. There are 29 colour versions and 10 templates for the students to make their own numbers 11-19 puzzles.
11-19 Teen Number Colour By code Printables Product image
These colour/color by code activities are perfect for learning number recognition 11-19. There's a digits and number word puzzle for 11-19 and two extra bonus puzzles. Bonus one includes all the numbers together and there's a place value version too. Perfect for homework or math centers.

Teen Numbers Puzzles Pack 2

Meet The Teens MEGA Pack

Teen & Ty Numbers Build in Boards

Teen Place Value Puzzles ten frames image
In this pack there are a total of 7 different 2 piece puzzles for the numbers 11 to 19. Use them for small group intervention, math center ideas, and independent practice. Students find an match the teen numbers to ten frames, 10's addition number sentences and pictorial quantities.
Teen Number Puzzles Image
Pack 1: There are a total of 8 pieces per puzzle but they work with a minimum of 3, so they can be easily differentiated to meet the different needs of your students. Perfect for helping kids to connect teens to place value using a variety of visual representations and materials. To keep cutting down, jst cut along the black lines!
Teen Numbers Math Center Games (11-19) product image
This 54 Page pack focuses on learning the numbers 11-19 using Place Value Understanding which means confusion is less likely! These activities are based on the idea that the numbers 11-19 are made from 10 and some more...e.g. thirteen is 10 and 3 more
Teen Number Place Value Build it board images
THese Teen & Ty number boards are perfect to check your students understand the differences beteen these numbers. Use unifix cubes. pop sticks, base 10 to build the number. Shown in digits & words!

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