Introduction to this Lesson-Note-Nursery-One-Third-Term-Mathematics-Week-1
I wrote this Lesson-Note-Nursery-One-Third-Term-Mathematics-Week-1 based on the Nigerian National Early Childhood Education Curriculum. Particularly, I used the Pre-Primary Teaching Schemes that the Education Resource Centre, Abuja developed. However, this scheme is the same as those of the other 36 states’ education resource development centre. Nonetheless, I only crosschecked this topic in that of Lagos, Kano and FCT only. Regardless, this lesson note is suitable for use in any Nigerian school that adopts the National Curriculum.
Complete Lesson Objectives
As with the rest of our notes, the primary focus of this lesson note is to present an enriched content for the topic. This lesson notes, also like the rest, provide guide for teachers on how to deliver the content to attain the topic objectives. In this regard, I adopt the modern teaching style in Mathematics as NERDC specified
Unlike most lesson notes you may find around which focuses majorly on cognition, I brought out and set objectives to cover other domains of education – affective and psychomotor. This is to ensure a balanced learning experience for the learners. For as Dr Emmanuel Atanda of the Faculty of Education, University of Ilorin wrote – in his Curriculum Development Study Guide for students in Postgraduate programme in Education – “no student can be said to have learned anything if the three domains of educational objectives are not taken into consideration”.
Leading Guide to Adapting this Lesson Note
I wrote this lesson note in outline of standard lesson plans. However, I advise teachers that want to use this notes for official purpose – i.e. to create their lesson plans which they will submit to their supervisors – to follow this guideline to writing standard lesson plan.
REMARK: If you find the terms lesson plan and lesson notes confusing, quickly read this article on their differences.
To Nursery One Mathematics Teacher
The teacher to deliver this lesson must understand that teaching numeracy at the early age entails much more than rote memorization and singing/demonstrating rhymes. Yes, these are effective tool for teaching the pupils how to remember what you have taught them. But much more, the question of numeracy – much as all of the topics at this level – serves as the foundation for the pupils’ progress in the subject in future academic engagements.
Major Contribution to Mathematics Anxiety
After having taught Mathematics at pre-primary, primary, secondary as well as tertiary level; I can categorically say that the majority of the numerous issues that students have in Mathematics is due to poor foundation.
A common point that most early years’ teachers miss in teaching numeration and notation is the aspect of the concept of numerical values. Any Mathematics Teacher in higher classes starting from Primary 4 upward will attest to the fact that majority of the learners finds Number Bases difficult due to their lack of understanding the concept of values of numbers. Even now, you can take the percentage of the primary level learners upward that truly understands the concept of value of numbers above 10. A simple question to test this is: Why do we write 10 and 1 and 0?
Despite that many early years’ teachers are coming to understand this and consequently adjusting the focus of their classes, more are yet to. Consequently, you should not only measure the success of your class by how your Nursery One pupils are able to recite and perhaps identify and write numbers 1 – 500. You should also evaluate to see how many of them truly understands the concept of the values of the numbers. It is in this regard that I urge you to also focus on the affective objective of this lesson.
Class: Nursery One
Subject: Mathematics/Number Work
Topic: Counting numbers 1 – 25
Copying numbers 3 & 4
Recognition of numbers 1 – 25
At the end of the lesson, the pupils should have attained the following:
- Count numbers 1 – 25
- Identify numbers 1 – 25
- Write numbers 1 – 4
- Demonstrate/internalize the concept of numerical values of numbers 1 – 4
2. Previous Knowledge
The pupils had in the previous terms learned the following:
- Meaning of number
- Patterns of writing numbers
- How to combine patterns to form numbers 1 and 2
- Counting numbers 1 – 25
- Tracing numbers 3 and 4
3. Instructional Materials
- Number models – plastic, metallic or cardboard cut-outs – consisting of several 1’s through 9’s including 0’s
- Stand counters of 25 beads
- Several counters – bottle covers, blocks, pebbles, etc. in bundles of 10. I recommend bottle covers in tens packed into an improvised container that can contain no more than 10 counters – 2 and a half (i.e. 25) for each pupil
- Chalk/Marker and black/white board
- Number charts of 1 – 25
- Several (carton) boxes for each pupil
- Education Resource Centre. (2014). FCT Nursery Teaching Scheme. Abuja: Education Resource Centre.
- Kano Education Resource Department. (2016). Pre-Primary Schemes of work. Kano: Kano Education Resource Department.
- Lagos State Ministry of Education. (2016). Early Childhood Care Education Scheme (Mathematics). Lagos: Lagos State Ministry of Education.
- Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC). (2012). Mathematics Teachers’ Guide for the Revised 9-Year Basic Education Curriculum (BEC). Yaba, Lagos: Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC).
The teacher delivers the lesson as in the following steps:
Identification of Pupils Previous Knowledge
As NERDC provided in the Mathematics Teaching guide, the first step in modern – Mathematics – teaching method is to identify the pupils’ previous knowledge.
To do this, the repeats the exercises that s/he did when introducing the concept of numbers. I copy the description below:
- The teacher picks a set of the same objects – say pencils, or sweets in both hands. The number of such items in one hand should be more than the number in another hand. However, neither of the number of items should exceed 10.
- The teacher thence shows the pupils the items in both hands and asks them which hand contains more of the object
- The pupils shall guess the hand that has more of the object
The teacher receives as many attempts as possible. If a pupil gets it wrong, s/he declines politely and demands/encourage other pupils to try. When a pupil eventually gets it right, the teacher friendly asks the pupil how s/he was able to identify the greater.
After the ensuing discussion, the teacher tells the pupils that there is a way older people use to tell the greater things from the lesser – this is called number.
After that, the teacher asks the pupils if any of them is still able to remember the meaning of number. Following attempts, the teacher reminds the pupils that a number is what tells us how many of a thing we have.
The teacher continues by revising the previous lessons as I outline below:
- S/he tells them that there are many numbers because we can have many things.
- Each of the many numbers has its special name and way it is written.
- Examples of the numbers that we have are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0– for each of these numbers, the teacher reminds the pupils the names, symbols and the values – by way of demonstration. The teacher remembers that zero (0) is a difficult concept for the pupils to understand at their level. Hence, the pupils will only understand it when the teacher demonstrates it. For this reason, I repeat the demonstration of numerical values from my past lesson notes below:
II. How to Teach Young Learners the Concept of the Values of Numbers
- The teacher picks a counter – one counter; show it to the pupils and asks them how many item has s/he. A pupil should probably get it as one.
- The teacher explains that one is the first number and that it is written as 1. And that the name of the number is one.
- The teacher reiterates (1) and (2) above in local dialect if (especially) in a rural area. The teacher may as well begin the explanation in (1) and (2) with the local dialect.
- After the explanation, the teacher teaches the pupils how to correctly pronounce “one”. S/he does this by pronouncing it several while the pupils repeat after him/her each time. The teacher ensures that every child participates in this.
Concept of the Value of Zero
The teacher repeats the explanation (1), (2), (3) and (4) above for numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. However, to teach the concept of the value of zero; I recommend the teacher does the following:
- The teacher picks nine counters and asks the pupils how many counter has s/he. The pupils should be able to tell the number – the teacher may invite a pupil to count the counters and tell the class. Hence, the teacher shows or writes the symbol of the number nine and leads the pupils to pronounce it.
- Afterwards, the teacher drops one of the counters, invites a pupil to count the remaining counters and tell the class. Thereafter, the teacher shows or writes the symbol of the number eight and leads the pupils to pronounce it.
- The teacher repeats (2) above for the numbers 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2; each time dropping a counter afterwards.
- Once the teacher has just a counter left in his/her hand, s/he shows it to the class and asks them the number of counter. Upon the class identifying the number 1, the teacher writes the symbol and leads them to pronounce “one” several times.
- After the pupils had practised the number one, the teacher once again shows the one counter to the pupils and reminds them that s/he has one counter. Afterwards, the teacher drops the one counter. Then s/he shows empty hands to the pupils and asks how many counters has s/he. The pupils should say none or nothing. Then the teacher tells the pupils that “none” or “nothing” is also a number. And that the number is called “zero”. The teacher concludes by telling them that zero is written as 0. The teacher may reiterate in local dialect that “zero means nothing and it is written as 0”
Bundles – Numbers above 9
After the teacher has finished teaching and explaining the numbers 0 – 9, s/he tells the pupils that those are the numbers there is.
S/he thereafter tells the pupils that we however usually have more things than these numbers 0 – 9. The teacher continues that once the number of a thing is one more than 9 – i.e. if one already has 9 and then gets one more – then we say the person has a bundle.
The teacher demonstrates this by arranging ten bottle covers into the improvised container of ten. Thereafter, the teacher distributes 9 counters and one of the improvised pack to the pupils. Thereafter, the teacher demonstrates and directs the pupils to gradually arrange the nine counters into the pack. Once, the teacher and the pupils have done this, the teacher asks whether the pack is filled – or if one more of the counter can still be added. Since one more counter can still be added, the teacher distributes one more counter to the pupils. Then taking his/hers, the teacher demonstrates and directs the pupils to fill their pack with the one counter.
Once the teacher and every pupil has filled their pack and probably covered it, the teacher tells the pupils that the pack is known as a bundle. Hence, the teacher explains further that a bundle therefore is 10. This also means that the first number after 9 is 10. The teacher notes that we write ten or a bundle as 10 (1 and 0) to mean one bundle and nothing. Finally, the teacher observes that we write the number ten in such a way that the 1 and 0 are not far from each other.
Following the explanation of the number 10, the teacher then teaches that if one already has a bundle and then gets one more – s/he gives them one more counter; then since the extra one will not be able to enter into the bundle pack, we simply say the total number of the item is one bundle and one – which means a ten and a 1. The teacher thence teaches that we write one bundle and one as 11. S/he also teaches that the number after a bundle therefore is 11. The teacher concludes the explanation on the number 11 by telling the pupils that the number 11 is called eleven. So, the number after ten is eleven.
Numbers 12 – 19
Succeeding the above, the teacher repeats it for numbers 12 through 19. For each number the teacher gives three explanations:
- If one already has 11 items and then gets one more – or if you add one to eleven – the teacher gives the pupils one more counter each time, then we say it is one bundle and 2 – because there will now be two items that is not inside the bundle pack.
- We write one bundle and two as 12 and call it twelve.
- That means the number after eleven is twelve. The teacher teaches the pupils how to pronounce twelve.
After number 19, the teacher distributes the second bundle pack to the pupils. Then s/he tells them that since the items outside the first bundle pack is many enough, they should try filling the second bundle pack. Therefore, the teacher leads the pupils to fill in their second bundle pack. After packing the nine counters into the second bundle pack, the teacher asks the pupils if it is filled. Since it isn’t, the teacher distributes the one more counter to each of the pupils and then leads the pupils to fill the second bundle pack.
Soon after the teacher and the pupils fill the second bundle packs, the teacher tells the pupils that they now have exactly two bundles and nothing left on the ground. The teacher then teaches that we write two bundles and nothing as 2 and 0 close to each other. The teacher also explains that the name of two bundles and nothing (20) is twenty – s/he teaches the pupils how to pronounce twenty. S/he concludes the explanation that since a bundle is ten, then two bundles means 2 tens.
Following the explanation of the number 20, the teacher then teaches that if one already has two bundles and then gets one more – the teacher distributes one counter to the pupils; then since the extra one will not be able to enter into any of the bundle packs, we simply say the total number of the item is two bundles and one – which means two tens and a 1. The teacher thence teaches that we write two bundles and one as 21. S/he also teaches that the number after twenty therefore is 21. The teacher concludes the explanation on the number 11 by telling the pupils that the number 21 is called twenty-one – s/he teaches the pupils how to correctly pronounce twenty-one.
Numbers 22 – 25
Succeeding the above, the teacher repeats it for numbers 22 through 25. For each number the teacher does the following:
- Tells the pupils that if one already has the present number of items and then gets one more – or if you add one to eleven – the teacher gives the pupils one more counter each time, then we say it is two bundle and 2 – because there will now be two items that is not inside either of the bundle packs.
- We write two bundles and two as 22 and call it twenty-two.
- That means the number after twenty-one is twenty-two. The teacher teaches the pupils how to pronounce twenty-two.
After the teacher had finished explaining the concept of the values of number twenty-five, s/he revises the numbers 1 – 25 again. The teacher focuses on helping the pupils to identify the numbers, their names and symbols (how each is written) as well as to understand the concept of the value of each.
III. Counting Exercise
General counting with stand counters
After the revision, the teacher leads the pupils into general counting:
He or she puts up the stand counter. Then sliding each counter to the other side, s/he together with the pupils, counts until the counters finish from one side. The teacher repeats this by sliding each counter back to the original position and again – several times. The teacher may invite willing pupils to lead the counting by sliding the counters as the entire class counts.
Group and Individual Counting
After the general counting, the teacher further strengthens the pupil’s memorization of the names and order of numbers through group counting.
- The teacher groups the pupils into pairs
- Going to each group and while watch and follow, the teacher counts different number of counters for each pupil
- The teacher directs each pupil to count differently given number out of his or her counter and give it to the partner
- Individual pupil counts the new number of counters in their possession and tells the teacher
- The teacher confirms the number then make the pupils to repeat the process – exchange some counters and count
Oral Counting without Counters
After the pupils are able to count very well with the counters, the teacher directs them to put the counters away. Then s/he leads them to count orally without using the counters. The teacher and the pupils do this several times. S/he may invite different willing pupils to lead the oral counting as well.
The teacher may assess the individual pupil’s counting ability by:
- Asking them to orally count from a number that s/he states to another
- Sending them to go and fetch a given number of item for him/her
Recognition of the symbols of Numbers 1 – 25
After the counting exercises, the teacher reminds the pupils that each of the numbers has its own way that we write it. Thus, s/he explains that they are now going to learn how to we write each number – 1-25.
Consequently, the teacher starts from zero and forth; explains that:
- Zero means nothing and is written as 0
- One is a number which means – (in local dialect) and we write it as 1
- Two is a number which means – (in local dialect) and we write it as 2
- Ten (one bundle and nothing) is a number which means – (in local dialect) and we write it as 10.
- Eleven (one bundle and 1) is a number which means – (in local dialect) and we write 11
- – – –
- Twenty (2 tens and nothing) is a number which means – (in local dialect) and we write it as 20
- Twenty-one (2 ten and 1) is a number which means – (in local dialect) and we write it as 21
- Twenty-five (2 ten and 5) is a number which means – (in local dialect) and we write it as 25
Succeeding the explanation, the teacher writes the numbers 1 -25, serially on the board or uses the large number chart, then points at each number and asks the pupils to name the number – then in reverse, the teacher calls the name of a number then calls pupils to points at each.
The teacher may call the local names of numbers and asks pupils to mention the English equivalents.
Following this, the teacher uses the number chart of 1 – 25, and lead the counter once again – several times. S/he may invite pupils to come, point at the numbers and lead the counting.
The teacher evaluates the pupils’ ability to recognize the letter through physical exercise thus:
S/he places different number of counters into the boxes. Then gives the boxes to the pupils with the number models or cardboard number cut-outs. Thereafter, the teacher directs the pupils to open up each of the boxes, count the number of items in the boxes and then pick the corresponding number model/cut-out and place on/inside the boxes with the counters.
The teacher moves round or collects the boxes, confirms the counters and the number model/cut-out that is in it.
Writing Numbers 3 and 4
Succeeding the counting/recognition exercises, the teacher tells the pupils that shall now continue to learn how to write some of the numbers they learned in the lesson.
The teacher first revises concave (outside) curves as well as vertical and horizontal lines writing patterns. S/he may give the pupils a quick exercise to make the patterns.
REMARK: Take note of the pupils that have difficulty with the patterns. And endeavour to take any child back to the needed prerequisite skills for the writing exercise. DO NOT HOLD THE CHILD’S HANDS – it is outdated. With the right basic skills, most children of 3 to 3.5 years are able to form and write numbers on their own.
Following the writing pattern exercise above, the teacher proceeds with the number 3 and 4 writing exercises thus:
How to Write Number Three
The teacher picks the model/cut-out of number 3. Then s/he analyses, demonstrates and guides the pupils to form it as I describe below:
Number three is two curves joined. To form number 3, mark off three vertical dots – one above the other – the middle being at the centre:
Then draw a curve from the top dot to the middle:
And from the middle to the bottom:
The teacher explains and demonstrates how to form it several times. After that, the makes the pupils to attempt same on sand several times. Then from sand, the teacher makes the pupils to repeat their previous term’s tracing – of number 3 – exercises. After this, the teacher makes the three dots for the pupils to join with curves. Finally, the teacher tells the pupils to make the dots and the curves themselves.
How to Write Number Four (4)
Number four has three lines – two verticals and a horizontal. To form number 4, draw the first vertical stroke:
Then from the bottom end of the vertical line, draw a horizontal:
And finally draw another vertical across the horizontal:
The teacher explains and demonstrates how to form number four several times. After that, the makes the pupils to attempt same on sand several times. Then from sand, the teacher makes the pupils to repeat their previous term’s tracing – of number 4 – exercises. Finally, the teacher tells the pupils to form number 4 on their own – several times.
The teacher assesses the pupils understanding of the lesson by giving them the following exercises.
Exercise 1: Oral counting
The teacher asks the pupils (either individually or in small groups) to count numbers 1 -25.
Exercise 2: Recognition of numbers 1 – 25
- The teacher uses a number chart or a handwritten numbers 1 – 25; points at each number and ask individual pupil to name it – then the reverse.
- The teacher calls the local names of numbers and demands pupils to mention the English equivalents.
- The teacher gives the pupils the matching exercise contained in Systematic Numeracy.
Exercise 3: Numerical Values
- Teacher collects some items (recommended is biscuit or sweet); divides the items into two groups – one being more than the other.
- The teacher asks pupils to count each group; thereafter, reminds the pupil the number of each group, then asks the pupils to pick either the smaller or greater.
- Then the teacher gives the corresponding exercise (in Systematic Numeracy)
The teacher concludes the lesson by recording pupils’ performance and if necessary, providing feedback to the parents for needed home assistance.