The ability to double a number is introduced early on in the UK curriculum. Within the Foundation Stage, children should be able to "solve problems; including doubling, halving and sharing". Teaching the concept of doubling is a wonderful topic with lots of opportunities for hands-on learning. As a teacher, my favourite way to introduce doubles is using a mirror. I would give each child a mirror and ask them to hold up one finger. Seeing the reflection of their finger in the mirror would instantly demonstrate how to double one. We would continue using this method of holding up fingers until they could double to five. We would then explore doubles by placing different objects in front of the mirror and counting them. Take a look at how to teach doubles with a mirror.
Resources needed to teach doubles with a mirror:
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* A selection of counters. Simply use what you have to hand. We included miniature elephant pegs (from Flying Tiger Stores), assorted rhinestones and gems, pom poms, reusable ice cubes, compare bears, Mini Dino Counters and Foam animal stickers.
More Maths Activities for Early Years ~ Counting Games and Hands-on Learning
Preparation needed to teach doubles with a mirror:
Place your chosen counters on a table within easy reach. Position the whiteboard near the mirror and write the symbols required for two number sentences. I usually practice both ways of writing a double number sentence:
? + ? = ?
double ? = ?
How to teach doubles with a mirror:
1. Position one counter in front of the mirror. In this case my son picked up one frog.
2. Add how many counters can be seen altogether including in the reflection of the mirror. Write the answer on the whiteboard ie 1 + 1 = 2 double 1 = 2
3. Remove the counter, rub out the numbers on the whiteboard. Pick some more counters (in this case two dinosaurs) and repeat the process.
4. Continue with the activity using however many counters as they wish. Through repetition and hands on learning your child will soon grasp the concept that doubling is making an identical set.
It does not matter what counters are used - anything small that you have to hand will work. This activity could easily be completed with natural materials such as conkers, stones and acorns. Teaching doubles using a mirror means that the children are not restricted to just doubling using their fingers or having to find the same amount of counters for each part of the number sentence.
If you liked this activity then pop over to my blog Adventures and Play. There you can see how we used the same method but with a pirate themed twist.
Check out Pirate Maths: Doubling Numbers to double the treasure.