request for song to learn numbers

By Pamela Kaatz posted 01-06-2014 13:51


I know that we often think that we are helping children learn by using songs.  And I DO agree that they are wonderfully helpful and exciting.  HOWEVER, I believe that children who already have the concept of counting should NOT learn the numbers in a set order.  Retired after 30 years of teaching HS Spanish,  I recently started a part-time job with a small private school. My classes are grouped K-2, grades 3-5,  MS  and  HS.  Every student can "count" uno, dos, tres, etc etc.  BUT if they need to say "OCHO," then they have to list the numbers.  Our goal is NOT counting; it is accepting the NEW NAME for the numbers.  I developed many "hands-on" activities for my own classes.  Even in HS Spanish, I "played games" that involved numbers.  These days with the computer ruling the world, the concept of hands-on, interactive learning seems to be anathema. For my classes with the little ones (a whole new world for me) I printed numbers--each one the size of regular sheet of paper. Students colored them any way they wanted.  We laminated them and placed them around the classroom. In the target language:  What number is on the door?   etc  Or give each large number to a student.  Who has the number 8 today?  Anything to keep the numbers moving, keep the students thinking and connecting with the new name.  This same type of rote memorization is also what makes learning to communicate in the Spanish verb system so difficult.  When one memorizes hablo, hablas, habla, hablamos, habláis, hablan  then the same thing happens as with the numbers (or days, or alphabet,etc.)  To say "they speak", the learner must list the forms.  This causes what I call LLBDS  Language Learning Brain Damage Syndrome.  I know this because I suffered from it for many years.  On my website follow these directions.  Warning:  My website is ancient (2001) and I can't afford techo help to modernize it.  Click at the top on Verb Wall Virtual Workshop (has to be READ, not seen) when that opens, click on Spanish, then ENTER.  On the left sidebar, you will see LESSONS.  Click there.  In that list you will find a lesson on numbers.  Keep in mind it was written in the days with the ancient machine known as the "overhead projector" was state-of-the-art technology!! Hope that helps.  Sincerely,  Pamelo, Pamelas, Pamela, Pamelamos, Pameláis, Pamelan  Kaatz

1 comment



04-29-2014 17:13

I completely agree with you when teachers think that students can integrate vocabulary in order to communicate through songs and list of words. I teach K-5 and in second grade I will put the challenge on them. Counting is not aloud. Numbers will be selected randomly and be ready to say the number when we snap our fingers!