Maths, Numbers and Number Lines.
Our main business is maths product for Key Stage 1 and 2. When the maths framework and later strategy came out, 0 made a big appearance. It meant that 0 to 9 which repeat to infinity are all on one line. After 9 children will say 10 comes next. Of course they are right, but actually 0 comes next and 1 takes his turn in front. After 19, there is 0 again, but 2 takes his turn in front.
The big message here is that in reading and writing we work from left to right.
In maths we work from right to left. We ask children to put a number 1 in front of 2. Do they make 21 or 12?
Here is a little poem taken from Ready Teddy Go to explain this. It makes a great assembly with the children dressed as digits with the emphasis on different 0 characters.
Number 1 was standing with pride,
Along came Zero the Hero and pushed him aside.
OOOOH said number 1 now I’m a ten!
OOOOH said Zero the Hero, I’ll do it again.
So he pushed and he shoved and the numbers moved aside.
2 changed to 20
3 changed to 30
4 changed to 40
‘What’s all this?’ said Zero’s friend. (First Zero looks sad!)
Move on over, I’m going to stand on the end. (Now 100 clearly seen)