Talk to any kindergarten teacher, and she’ll tell you about her students who transpose numbers. Two-digit numbers puzzle many younger students. It’s not unusual to hear students confusing the numbers “13” and “31” or writing the number “14” as “41.”
This common mistake is sometimes called a transposition. When students transpose numbers, they write down all of the correct numbers, but they don’t put the numbers into the right sequence (place-value order).
Transposition errors often occur in two-digit numbers. For my students, the most commonly transposed numbers are the numbers 12-19. These mistakes with the teen numbers actually reveal the child has a good understanding of the spelling patterns for numbers and words. Mistakes with numbers greater than twenty may indicate that the child needs more place-value practice.
Today, I want to empower you with effective tools for addressing transposition errors. First, let’s figure out why students are confused.