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Are you prejudice?

Are you prejudice against the numbers 11, 12 and 13.

Do you have preconceived notions about these numbers?
At first, their number names seem to be a deliberate attempt by somebody, somewhere, to make life difficult for children; rather like the spelling for ‘said’!
The number names ‘eleven’, ‘twelve’ and ‘thirteen’ appear to be pushing young children away form a place value understanding, at the very moment when children need place value support the most!
The place value structure can, of course, be seen in the numeric representation of the written numbers, yet, not equally heard in their number names.
However, I believe the ‘somebody, somewhere’ person got it spot on!
Let’s take the number 86. We want children to look at that one number and see ‘8 tens and 6 ones’, but we also want them to see the total amount of ones, so, ’86 ones’.
We have to teach, i.e. ‘give’, children this ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป from an early age. The amount ’86’ existed as an amount of ones before people came along and labelled it with a number name, and the amount also existed before we decided to arrange it through base 10 and record it with two digits.
We didn’t ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ to use base 10, we chose to. However, because we have (for good reason), children must acquire this ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป. If it were only about the place value vision, ‘eleven’, ‘twelve’, ‘thirteen’ would indeed be misleading. However, it is ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ we must appreciate that there is an amount of ones sitting behind every whole number, that we have such number names. ‘Eleven’, immediately reminds us this isn’t ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต place value. For every number, we must continue to see and respect the amount of ones.
So, it is actually perfect timing that ‘eleven’ appears as a brand new number name!
‘Eleven’ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ continues the idea of representing the increasing amount of ones with a new name, just as ‘ten’ did, and just as we establish the ‘tens column’. This continues with ‘twelve’, now, clearly, pulling us back from getting too carried away with only seeing the place value arrangement of these amounts. The number name system is expecting a ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป to be taught. ‘Thirteen’ opens the door gradually, and appropriately, to see both views. It has a new word, but nods towards what is to come, since we hear the ‘three-ten in ‘thir-teen’. ‘Fourteen’ strengthens the place value view, but then the ‘fif’ of ‘fifteen’ calms us back down again, re-focusing us on the need to still see these numbers as ‘amounts of ones’. Note too, once we come to count units of hundreds/thousands/millions, we lose the ‘twen’, ‘thir’ and ‘fif’ prefixes that we had when counting tens. Again, we see a gradual move away from, what appears to be less logical words, but, in actuality, is evidence of somebody, somewhere, helping children to acquire a beautiful ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป of numbers.

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