Do your Kindergarten students struggle with understanding teen numbers?
No fear, you can count on Tricia! Here are 3 of my favorite ways of teaching teen numbers.


Sometimes reading and even writing teen-digit numbers can be tricky for little learners. While it’s a skill learned in kindergarten and first grade, it sets the foundation for mathematical building blocks in later grades. 


Teen Numbers are the numbers between 10 and 20. We practice representing them by taking a group of ten and adding more. Through engaging methods such as tally marks, ten frames, addition and subtraction equations, coins, and the exploration of number lines and grids, we open up a world of possibilities for grasping the essence of teen numbers. 


There are SO many options for teaching teen numbers. But how can we help our students master teen numbers with ease?


I’ll share 3 of my favorite tricks for mastering reading, writing. counting and decomposing teen numbers

  1. Incorporating Music 
  2. Composing and Decomposing Teen Numbers with manipulatives

  3. Differentiated Activities

Through music, manipulatives, and differentiated activities, we can pave the way for a comprehensive understanding of these foundational mathematical concepts. 


Let’s make learning a song and dance! Catchy tunes and rhymes not only make the learning experience enjoyable but also enhance memory retention. By adding a musical touch, students can quickly pick up on the patterns and sequences of teen numbers, turning learning into a fun experience.

One of my all-time favorite ways to introduce and review a concept like teen numbers is with….

You guessed! JACK HARTMAN!! I love incorporating a video with catchy songs into our lessons. Plus, my students can’t get enough!


Check out these Jack Hartman videos that are guaranteed to get your students up and moving, while also learning about teen numbers. We just love that guy. 


Teen Numbers in the Air

The Teen Numbers Rap

Teen Numbers Song


In the classroom, I like playing these music videos as a review in the morning during bellwork when the students are starting their day or before math as a warm-up before I start teaching teen numbers. They are short and sweet!


Students can also practice place value with this video here


Bring the magic of hands-on learning to the forefront by utilizing manipulatives. Encourage students to physically engage with objects, whether it’s counters, blocks, or other tangible tools, to compose and decompose teen numbers. This tactile approach not only reinforces mathematical concepts but also caters to diverse learning styles, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of these intriguing numbers.

When I’m teaching teen numbers I begin by having my students practice composing and decomposing numbers. Begin by using manipulatives like mini erasers, cubes, or base ten blocks for students to make a visual connection. 


Begin by reviewing making familiar numbers like 7 and 8 to get students in the mindset of practicing ways to compose numbers.  In class we talk about numbers, like us, belonging to families.  The largest number in a family is 9.  


We practice chanting “This largest number, the largest number, the largest number in a family is 9.”   If there are nine members (cubes, mini erasers..) in a family, it is all good.  Once the 10th member comes, the numbers bind together and jump over into the tens family.   This chant helps students understand making ten and numbers greater than 10.



Every student is different, so why not teach in different ways? We can use activities that fit each student’s unique way of learning.

Some kids like games, some like visuals, and others need a hands-on approach. By changing how we teach, we can help each student feel good about learning teen numbers. Provide opportunities for students to explore teen numbers in a way that resonates with their individual strengths, fostering a sense of ownership and confidence in their mathematical journey

In the classroom, I have noticed some students seem to catch onto the concept of composing teen numbers quickly while other students need more support and scaffolding of the concept. Teaching teen numbers with differentiated activities help Kindergarten Math students who benefit from extra help.

Free Teen Number Activities and Ways to Teach Teen Numbers to your Kindergarten Math Student
I’ve created differentiated worksheets to help students when I’m teaching teen numbersUse these Teen Number Activities for math centers, buddy activities, peer tutoring, small group, enrichment, homework, or even independent review.
Free Teen Number Activities and Ways to Teach Teen Numbers to your Kindergarten Math Student




Don’t leave without grabbing the above freebie here! Students will practice ways to make teen numbers while also engaging their fine motor skills by cutting and pasting. So perfect for little learners. 


If you found the activities I shared above enjoyable, you might also appreciate this additional resource for teaching teen numbers. The Teen Number resource  I created for beginning mathematicians is a fantastic supplement for those teachers looking for more support and ideas for teaching teen numbers. From cut, sort, and gluing activities to different ways of decomposing numbers 10 to 20 to detailed parent communication forms, this resource is perfect for fun activities to practice understanding teen numbers. 

Teen Number Activities and Ways to Teach Teen Numbers to your Kindergarten Math Student

Teaching teen numbers to Kindergarteners or First-Graders can be tricky, but it’s an important skill they need to master to count with confidence! So, as we teach teen numbers, let’s make it an adventure full of fun and discovery. With music, hands-on activities, and different ways of learning, we can help our students really understand and enjoy working with these important numbers.


If you’ve ever noticed your students struggling with the “tricky teens”, this above packet is perfect additional practice. You can use it as morning work, homework, in small group enrichment centers, oreven as partner work. Just print and go!


Kindergarten teachers are loving this resource for tackling the teens! One teacher said, This was an awesome resource. My Kinders loved it and it did a great job reinforcing teen numbers. It was very organized and well designed. Many thanks.” Another teacher said, “This was just what I was looking for to help students fill the gaps with a daily routine to practice and learn the tricky teen numbers.”

Teen Number Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade

You can always “COUNT on Me” for engaging, differentiated math resources to help every student shine!


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