Rather than relying on rote memorization, English Class first graders really comprehend the base ten number system. They spent two weeks making ten in every possible number combination. They used dice to roll the sum of ten.
In their notebooks they used ten frames, the number line and even a clock to show ten. They made rainbows showing addends of ten and practiced all sorts of combinations making up ten.
They played addends of 10 bingo and counted by fives on their bead strings.
The first graders even played store when their teacher, Ms. Kati, gave each pupil ten euros of play money. Pupils learned that to make change for a 3 euro purchase, it is best to use a five euro note and a two euro coin. It takes time and lots of experiences for children to develop a full understanding of number that will grow and enhance all of the further number related concepts of the school years that follow this first important year. A complete and rich understanding of number involves many different ideas, relationships, and skills. These first graders are getting that deeper understanding that can be applied throughout years to come.