An important part of learning mathematics is using and understanding mathematical vocabulary. Children need this vocabulary to talk about their work, to ask questions and to explain their thinking.

Target boards are grids with numbers or pictures that can be used to practise using mathematical language.

Counting with Target Board 1

Print Target Board 1.Point at any box on the target board and ask:How many Digit Dogs can you see?Do children count the dogs in ones or do they recognise the arrangement and say the number without counting?

Ask children to:

Point at 2 dogs, 3 dogs, 1 dog ……….

Point at 4 dogs. Now point at more than 4 dogs. Now point at fewer than 4 dogs.

Point at 3 dogs. Now point at 1 more than 3 dogs. Now point at 1 fewer than 3 dogs.

Ask:

Which boxes have the most dogs? Which boxes have the fewest dogs?

Which row has most dogs? Which column has fewest dogs?

How many dogs are in the first row altogether? What about the second row? And the third?

Point to some dogs and ask children to hold up that number of fingers or do that number of claps, or jump that number of times.

Now get children to ask the questions and use the correct vocabulary.

Play Match the Dogs. Put 4 sets of the Digit Dog cards face down in a pile. Take turns to turn over the top card and find the matching picture on your board. How many dogs are on your card? The winner is the first to cover their board.

Play Bingo. Have a board each, roll a dice, say the number rolled and cover that number of dogs with a milk-bottle top/ button/ counter. The winner is the first to cover their board.

Put 4 sets of digit cards 1 – 5 in a pile face down. Take turns to turn over the top card and match the number to the dogs on your board. First to cover their board wins.

Play One More Bingo. Put 4 sets of digit cards 0 – 4 in a pile face down. Take turns to turn over the top card, say the number that is one more than the number on the card and match that number to the dogs on your board. First to cover their board wins.

Helping children to notice similarities and differences helps them to spot patterns and to use their reasoning skills. Spotting patterns and logical reasoning are key when learning mathematics.

Ask children “What is the same?” “What is different?”

Then ask them to explain what they notice, this improves their language and thinking.

Look at the two sets of buttons. Find things that are the same about the two sets, for example, both sets have different coloured buttons in them. How many similarities can you find?

Now look for differences. Find things that are different about the two sets, for example, there are a different number of buttons in each set. How many differences can you find?

Make your own sets of objects and look for similarities and differences.

Try using the flik-flaks to practise and use multiplication facts.

Practise counting in 2s by folding the Digit Dog flik-flak in half and asking:

How many dogs can you see?

How many eyes can you see?

How do you know? Tell me a number sentence.

Each dog has 2 eyes – 2, 4, 6, 8, 10

Five 2s equal 10, 5 lots of 2 equal 10, 5 groups of 2 equal 10, 2 five times equals 10, 5 x 2 = 10

1 dog has 2 eyes 1 x 2 = 2

2 dogs have 4 eyes 2 x 2 = 4

3 dogs have 6 eyes 3 x 2 = 6………..and so on

What patterns can you see? What do you notice about the number of eyes?

Repeat but this time count number of ears.

Challenge:

You can see 5 dogs but how many dogs are hidden? How many eyes are hidden? How did you work it out? Explain your thinking.

If I can see 12 eyes, how many dogs can I see?

Counting in steps of more than 2

You can practise counting in different steps by choosing different flik-flaks and repeating these activities. There are a range of flik-flaks available on www.primarytreasurechest.com

Subitising (recognising small amounts without counting)

Number bonds

Multiplication facts

Using mathematical language

Using reasoning skills

Number bonds

Look for patterns within numbers and help children understand that numbers are composed of smaller numbers e.g. fold the Digit Dog flik-flak in half as shown, ask How many dogs can you see? What else can you see? I can see 4 and 1, and 3 and 2……..Explain your thinking. Repeat by folding to show other numbers.

Use the flower flik-flak, fold it in half to show 6 flowers.

What do you notice? How many flowers can you see? How many purple? How many red? How many yellow? How many altogether?

Use the flik-flaks as a quick way to practise number bonds to 10 (the pairs of numbers that add togther to make 10).

Show children the flik-flak and ask:

“How many dogs can you see?” “How did you count them?”

Explore the numbers of dogs in each row and column. Ask questions such as “Which row has most dogs?” “Which row has the fewest dogs?” “Which row has one more than the bottom row?”

Explore the groups of dogs you can see. I can see 5 dogs on the top half and 5 dogs on the bottom, 5 + 5 = 10

Before continuing, make sure children are confident that there are 10 dogs altogether.

Fold the flik-flak:

Ask:

“How many dogs can you see now?”

“How many dogs are hidden?” “How many dogs can’t you see?” “How do you know?” “Explain your thinking”.

“How many dogs altogether?”

You want children to realise that they know there are 10 dogs altogether, that they can see 5 of them and need to work out how many of the dogs they can’t see. They might:

Count on from 5 to 10

Take away the 5 from 10

Use their knowledge that 5 and 5 equals 10

Expect children to explain their thinking.

Fold the flik-flak in a different way:

Ask the same questions.

“How many dogs can you see now?”

“How many dogs are hidden?” “How do you know?” “Explain your thinking”.

“How many dogs altogether?”

Keep folding the flik-flak to explore all the combinations of numbers to make 10.

Subitising (recognising small amounts without counting)

Number bonds

Multiplication facts

Using mathematical language

Using reasoning skills.

Counting

Hold up the Digit Dog flik-flak and ask how many dogs can you see? You can fold the flik-flak along the black lines to show all the numbers from 0 to 10. This allows children to practise counting sets of objects up to 10.

Give children their own flik-flak and ask them to:

Show a single digit number – 1, 2, 3, 4 ……etc.

Show the numbers 0 – 10 in order. How many ways can you show each number?

Show the same number of dogs as you are showing.

Show one less / one more e.g. show me one less than 3, one more than 5….etc. How did you work it out? Can you do it without counting?

More/fewer than I am showing. Explain your answer. e.g. How many dogs am I showing? Can you show me more dogs? Can you show me fewer dogs?

Subitising

Once children can confidently count the dogs by pointing at each one and not making mistakes, encourage them to subitise i.e. to recognise amounts without counting. When they see 3 dogs, they can say it is 3 without counting 1, 2, 3. They should be able to do this with numbers up to 5.

Counting in 2s

Use the flik-flaks as a quick way to practise counting in 2s.

Show children the flik-flak and ask:

How many dogs can you see? How many eyes can you see? How many ears can you see? How did you count them?

Fold the flik-flak:

Ask:

How many eyes can you see now? How did you count them? Did you count in 2s? Did you say “3 lots of 2”?

Challenge:

I can see 10 eyes. Show me 10 eyes with your flik-flak. How many dogs are there if there are 10 eyes?

Digit Dog is using the bottle top bugs and leaves to create some number problems.

This type of problem encourages learners to think and talk mathematically and use the link between addition and subtraction.

Ask children to:

Explain what the problem is about in their own words.

Explain what information they know and what they are trying to find out. How many spots are on the bug they can see? What number of spots cannot be under the leaf?

Find a way to work out how many spots are on the bug under the leaf.

Describe the strategy they have used. They might:

use counters to represent the spots and work out how many more they need to make 10

draw pictures of the bugs

use number bonds – the numbers that add together to make 10.

I know that 7 + 3 = 10 so there must be a 3-spot bug under the leaf.

I know that 10 – 7 = 3 so there must be a 3-spot bug under the leaf.

Convince everyone that their answer is correct. Use sentence starters such as:

I know the answer is 3 because ….

First of all I…………then I………

I know that …….. so…………

Write a number sentence

Change the bugs – choose two different bugs, work out the total number of spots and then hide one under a leaf.

What if……….

……..you tried it with 3 bugs? Work out the total and then hide one bug under a leaf.

……..you tried multiplying the numbers? Hide one bug under a leaf but this time say “the product of my numbers is…..”

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are playing with the bottle top bugs (make them with milk bottle tops).

Put your bottle top bugs in a feely bag or a box or under a tea towel. Each player takes one bug out, puts it in front of them and says how many spots there are. The player with more spots captures the bugs. Keep playing until you have used all the bugs. The winner is the one to have captured most bugs.

Who has more spots? How many more?

Who has fewer spots? How many fewer?

Say how many spots there are without counting in ones. Calculating Cat knows she has 11 spots because she counted 5 + 5 + 1.

What if…….

…….the player with fewer spots wins?

…….players take out two bugs, add the number of spots and compare the totals? The player with the greater total captures the bugs.

You need two dice and a set of bottle top bugs (you can make these by drawing on old milk bottle tops. Either use spots or numerals). You can print these leaves to put the bugs on, if you wish.

Take turns to roll both dice and use either addition or subtraction to capture a bug e.g. if you throw a 5 and a 3 you can either add the numbers together, 5 + 3 = 8, and capture the 8 bug, or you can subtract the numbers, 5 – 3 = 2, and capture the 2 bug.

When all the bugs have been captured, the player who has most bugs is the winner.

Which bugs are easiest to capture? Why do you think that?