The use of ‘digit cards’ in class

Free maths resources to download!

I hope everyone is getting settled back into school life, strange though it may be this September!

I think by now maybe you can guess how much I believe in pupils learning through hands-on/ talk activities, be it vocabulary/oral language or in the case of maths, opportunities for mental maths and maths discussion/problem-solving…and especially now after COVID school closures.

Teaching a multigrade classroom of 2nd, 3rd and 4th class pupils (same as last year) I am beginning to see how some children worked during these closures (I’m just talking a little bit of reading/ revising multiplication tables…nothing too strenuous, but still it helped!) Unfortunately, the children who were weak to begin with and did no reading/ maths etc. have regressed and to be honest, it will be a difficult task to bring them on to where I would like them to be.

One method I am using in maths at present is the use of digit cards. Most of the time, we hear how these can be used with younger pupils, but they can be very beneficial at all levels of primary school, and they work well in multigrade classrooms also. Digit cards are a simple resource that tie in well with the present restrictions in place in classrooms due to Covid-19 as each child can have their own set of digit cards (and a decimal point for older children). We can still have fun while learning with maths! You can cover a lot of math elements in ten minutes using the digit cards and with it being ‘hands on‘ it helps pupils to retain what they learn.

Please see a sample set of digit cards on my blog for downloading alongside lots of ideas/ suggestions for use in classrooms from 1st -6th class. Each set has the digits 0 to 9 in twice and a decimal point. My cards aren’t fancy, but they do the job! You can access more decorative ones online if you wish, but my main focus is on the activities we can do with a set of digit cards per child. Laminate each digit card, and bundle them as a set together. You can hold them together for each child using an elastic band, a small plastic pocket, ziplock sandwich bag or a small bull clip. I would advise printing two of each number for pupils as it gives you more ‘to play with’ so to speak.

Using digit cards, each child can hold up their own set of digit cards when answering questions in whole-class sessions instead of the ‘usual’ single question and single answer method. It enables all pupils to participate and make a response in a fun way. It also lets the teacher see at a glance what pupils are having difficulty with the mental maths.

The digit cards are great for using in multigrade settings and can be used to practice and extend mathematical language. Pupils can form two-digit and three-digit numbers by placing cards side-by-side. They can be used for practising number bonds, properties of number, number problems, fractions, place value, number facts, percentages etc. The digit cards can also be used for playing various games to reinforce mental mathematical strategies.

My true/ false discussion cards, which a lot of teachers/ parents liked using during COVID school closures for their children, are also available to download under the following link… https://julieannedevlin.com/downloadable-resources/ or check under ‘Free Downloadable Resources’ heading in the menu on my blog page.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

If you have any questions, please just ask.

Julieanne x

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