# Mathematics Tip - Levels 1 to 4

/Here are some topics of concern that may arise as you are working with students in Level 1 through Level 4.

**What should I do when a student writes a number backwards?**

This is a common mistake that young students make. When a young student learns numbers for the first time, the student captures and remembers the number as a shape or an image, such as a circle or a triangle. When students write numbers while thinking about the shape, they tend to write them backwards. This tendency naturally disappears for most students as they continue to practice writing numbers. Use the Key & Note, or reassign booklets 1-01 through 1-04, to continue to practice correct stroke order.

**Why are students counting objects for such a long time?**

The purpose of ‘Practicing Numbers’ in Levels 1 and 2 is not just counting numbers accurately. Through the concept of ‘Practicing Numbers’ students will understand the concept of complements. Complements are pairs of numbers that add up to a particular sum, most often 5 or 10. By understanding complements, students will more easily learn the concepts of carrying and borrowing in Levels 10 and 11.

**How can I help a student that having trouble with two-digit numbers?**

Young learners sometimes write two-digit numbers in reverse. For example, they write 03 for 30 and 02 for 20. In this case, it is advisable to practice writing multiples of 10 such as 10, 20, 30, 40, and so on to help students accurately understand the number writing pattern. Furthermore, it is valuable to complete number recitation practices. Reciting numbers is the most effective way for young students to learn the number sequence. There are 3 ways of reciting numbers: 1) in increasing order, 2) in decreasing order, and 3) taking turns. Reciting numbers helps the students learn number sequences in a fun way and they will be able to progress smoothly through booklets 3-01 through 3-04.

**How can I consult with parents who insist that ‘Adding 1’ is too easy for their child?**

‘Adding 1’ often looks easy to parents. It’s not difficult to find the answers as long as the child has learned to read and write numbers in sequence. However, ‘Adding 1’ is the stage where the mathematical symbol called ‘plus’ appears for the first time and the visualized concept changes into an abstract concept. Explain the importance of adding 1 as the completion of the number sequence as well as the basis of adding larger numbers.

**What do I do if a student is using fingers or drawing marks for addition?**

Young learners try to find visual aids to do addition and counting on their fingers or drawing marks are two of the most used methods. However, these methods can cause students difficulties when they learn addition with larger addends. There are more places to make mistakes and it can take students a long time to complete exercises if they continue to use visual aids. Introduce ‘Adding 1’ through next-number exercises. This process will eliminate the need for the use of fingers or other dependencies. Once the student masters ‘Adding 1, 2, and 3’, it will be easy to advance to adding with large addends.

Please refer to the ELU for more guidance on successfully instructing and consulting for students that are in Level 1 through Level 4 in Eye Level Math.

Reference: Key & Instructors. January-April 2019.