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Maths - It's as easy as 1 ... 2 ... 3

What it's all about

When I became a Reception teacher, I was determined to find something that would help pupils to form numbers correctly. I found the solution with Ten Town, where each digit is given a character with its own rhyme, and I have been using it ever since. Now there is an online version (, which makes it even easier, writes Marilyn Sweet.

Ten Town gives children reasons for why numbers face the way they do. And once a child understands that Sir Seven always bows towards King One, you almost never see a back-to-front seven again.

The children also form a visual connection with the characters which helps them to make sense of the abstract number shapes. Three can be tricky, but with Thelma Three's handcuffs as an aid, children "see" the correct shape.

The new website is very clear and easy to use and has a large bank of resources - you can use them online or print them off. In just a few weeks, the children have impressed us with their ability to complete the online activities. They particularly enjoy the tracing-the-numbers games and see keeping their mouse "on track", and following the arrow, as a challenge. They are thrilled when they complete the numerals successfully.

The children's faces light up at the mention of anything to do with Ten Town and this enthusiasm for numbers should help lay the foundations for successful mathematics in the years to come.

What else?

Develop children's confidence with addition, subtraction and other calculations using these hand-picked resources. bit.lyTEScalculating

For more inspiration, try the TES Early Years Foundation Stage collections. bit.lytesEarlyYears.

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