Who Said that Teaching First Grade Math is Simple?

While helping a six-year-old with a math problem, it dawned on me that a review was in order.  He appeared to be having trouble with the concept of zero.  So I said, “Let’s say that I gave you 9 pencils.  Courtney didn’t give you any.  So, how many pencils do you have?”

“Ten.”

“Ten? Let’s try that again.”  I repeated the scenario.

Taku nodded.  “Yep.  Ten.”

“How did you get ten?”

“Easy.  You gave me 9.  I already had one at my table.”