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Grab this free printable for tracing number 0.
Up first in my number series is tracing number 0.
I feel like zero is often an overlooked number when we start to teach kids their numbers. I get it though. It is difficult to explain the concept of nothing to little minds.
However, I think it is important to teach this number as a foundation.
When I introduce the number 0, I like to compare groups of objects with kids. This gives them a visual for understanding what zero means.
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How do you introduce the number zero?
One of my favorite ways to teach numbers is with a song and dance. When kids use mulitple sense and their whole body they tend to learn and retain skills faster.
Check out this video from Jack Hartman.
This video teaches kids how to form the number zero, and it’s meaning. However, while tracing number 0 might come easier for them, they will likely need more practice with the meaning of zero.
My number one suggestion for teaching zero is to start early in your everyday talk. Before you give them their snack you can say something like, “Oh there are zero bunny crackers in front of you. Now there are five.”
Or, “Looks like you finished your snack. Now you have zero.”
On a cloudless day, “There are zero clouds in the sky.”
Those are just a few examples but take a second to think about ways to use zero with your kids.
Writing numbers can be tricky but kids seem to pick up the zero fairly quickly.
You can teach them a little chant like, “Start at the top, circle around. No straight lines will be found!”
This number zero mat gives kiddos a chance to practice it several ways.
First, they can use playdough to form the number. This helps build strength in their fingers which is needed for writing.
Next, point out the ten frame to them. Notice how there is nothing in the frame.
Then, kids can practice tracing with directional arrows that show the proper formation.
After that they practice with just the dots.
Finally, they try it on their own!!
I love the gradual release of these number mats!
Here are a few recommendations for making sure learning the number zero is simple and easy.
- Print the number mat on cardstock and laminate. This way it can be used over and over.
- Have a variety of dry erase markers and erasers. You will need good quality erasers and a solution especially made for dry erase boards. If the markers stain your mat, you can use a magic eraser to clean it right up.
- Introduce zero through books, songs, or both.
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