"Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (such as 18 = 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones." (http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/K/NBT/A/1/)
For 5 year olds who began the year without knowing how to count to 10, mastering this standard less than 9 months later is a challenge to say the least. And my district has chosen to put it in the second grading period, meaning my students are expected to master this skill less then 5 months after they walk in the school doors for the first time.
That's a tall order.
I'm not going to debate here on whether or not that's a good idea or developmentally appropriate. I have lots of opinions on the topic, but I am choosing not to share them here.
What I do want to share are the ways I teach this standard so that my students have the best chance of developing a clear understanding of this concept when they are developmentally ready. Last week was our introduction to this topic. We worked as a whole group to break down each number from 10 to 20 using ten frames. We verbally discussed how each number looked on the ten frame, touching them physically at every opportunity. We also practiced with fingers, showing ten and ___ more so that students could physically act it out with a partner. I believe it is hugely important for young students to interact with concepts in as many concrete ways as possible.
It took us 4 days to get through all of the numbers. If that sounds like a long time, you know how intense our work was.
The plan this next week is to use a variety of math stations to practice these skills. It also gives me a great opportunity to assess where each student is individually and provide quick practice and feedback as necessary. I'll let you know how it went next week (with lots of pictures!).