### Number Girl and the Art of Counting

## February, Teaching Year 8

I had been working in a grade two class since the start of the year and teaching math. For the most part, I had been succesful in figuring out Grade two math, and because I was getting the hang of it, they were getting the hang of it. Except for one girl. Number Girl.

Number Girl had her own way of counting, and no matter how hard I tried, I just didn’t seem to be able to find a way to help her see that her counting system didn’t really work. It all started with the names of the numbers. The numbers one through ten were not a problem. Twenty through fifty seemed pretty solid. Number girl used a different naming convention for the numbers between ten and twenty. To be fair, her numbering system seemed solid.

Every day we would count “Seven, eight, nine, ten, ” she would continue with,”one one, one two, one three, one four . . . ”

Now, if you think on it for a bit, I am sure that you will agree that, if anything, Number Girl’s numbering system makes more sense than our English numbers. Eleven, twelve, thirteen, etc are a bit eccentric as far as the number naming system goes. I would have left it alone and allowed her to develop out of it on her own, I mean, hearing the regular numbers every day was bound to sink in eventually. Right? But I couldn’t because of one thing. Not only did they have special names, they also had their own arithmetic rules.