Posted in Christmas, Problem solving

Christmaths advent calendar


Digit Dog has got a Christmaths challenge for each school day in December.

Click on the images to reveal the first week’s challenges.

December 2ndScreenshot 2019-11-17 13.41.26

December 3rd Screenshot 2019-11-17 13.43.19





Screenshot 2019-11-17 13.44.42December 4thScreenshot 2019-11-17 13.46.21

                                                                                                December 5th

Screenshot 2019-11-17 13.49.21December 6th







Posted in Christmas, Numicon, Problem solving

Start planning your Christmaths with Digit Dog

One Santa’s sleigh – put the presents on Santa’s sleigh

You will need Santa’s sleighs (download and print) and a set of Numicon® shapes. Match the shapes to the spaces on the sleigh.

Screenshot 2018-11-30 16.27.13

  1. Give children just the shapes they need and let them match them to the spaces on the sleigh.
  2. Have a complete set of shapes for children to choose from.
  3. When the sleigh is covered, one partner closes their eyes, the other takes away one shape. Which one is missing?
  4. For an extra challenge, put the shapes in a feely bag and find the ones you need by touch alone.


How many shapes do you need?

Which shape will fit here…..?

Is the shape that goes here big or small? Bigger / smaller than a red one?

Can you take away one shape and put two in its place?

Which shapes are easy to find?

5. Start with the blank sleigh and ask learners to use the Numicon shapes to cover it in any way they can.

How many different ways can you do it? Compare your sleigh with your friend’s. What’s the same and what’s different?


What if…………

You weren’t allowed to use the same shape more than once? How many ways can you do it? Is this more difficult? What are you thinking?

Can you use one shape repeatedly to cover the sleigh? Which shapes will work? Which won’t? Why?

What is the fewest number of shapes you can use? The most?

You use only odd shapes? Only even?

Find more ideas in the Santa’s Sleigh Challenge Booklet


Posted in Calculating, Making totals, Number sense

Using Numicon® to explore equivalences

equivalent shapes

The idea of equal value is fundamental to mathematical understanding. Children need to understand that the “=” symbol means “equal value” and not “here is the answer”.


How can you make the scales balance?

Which Numicon® shape could go in the pan balance?

Screenshot 2019-11-11 10.43.28

What about this one?

How are you going to solve it? Explain your thinking.

What if ……… changed the shapes?


Now using numerals.

Screenshot 2019-11-13 11.41.26

Can you model this with the pan balance and Numicon® shapes?

What’s the missing number? Explain how you know. Record the sentence.

Make up some of your own.

Make sets of problems like this to put with a pan balance in your enhanced provision.