Posted in Additive relationships, Calculating, Conceptual understanding, Fluency, Numicon

Making 10

Numicon pairs to 10

Look at the Numicon shapes and find pairs of shapes that make 10. Check that you are correct by placing each pair on top of the ten shape.

Put your pairs in order.

Numicon pairs to 10 pattern

What do you notice? What patterns can you see?

Say an addition sentence for each pair e.g. 1 add 9 equals 10.

Write an addition sentence e.g. 1 + 9 = 10.

Say a subtraction sentence e.g. 10 take away 1 equals 9.

Write a subtraction sentence e.g. 10 – 1 = 9.

Play What’s Missing?

Set out your pairs like Digit Dog and Calculating Cat.

Player 1 closes their eyes, Player 2 removes one shape and says “what’s missing?”

Player 1 works out what shape is missing and explains how they know.

For more Numicon activities visit Oxford Owl for Home Maths.

Download and print the free Numicon shapes and the Numicon at Home Activity Kit for Years 1 and 2.

Posted in Additive relationships, Calculating, Fluency, Problem solving, Strategic competence

The missing bones

The aim of the activity is to encourage learners to think and talk mathematically.  Ask learners to discuss and find ways to solve the problem, to explain their thinking and show, in any way they want, how they have solved the problem.

The problem of The Missing Bones

Digit Dog put ten bones in his bowl ready for his dinner.

“I think ten bones will be enough,”  he said.

Digit Dog went for a walk before eating his bones and when he got back, what did he see?

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What do you notice? What has Calculating Cat done?

How does Digit Dog know that some of his bones are missing?

How can you work out how many bones have been taken?

How many bones were in the bowl to start with? How many bones are still in the bowl? How many are missing?

Explain how you can find out how many bones Calculating Cat has taken.  You might want to use a ten frame to help you. You might want to draw a picture.

Can you write a number sentence for this problem?

Convince me that you have worked out the problem.

Encourage learners to predict and estimate by asking questions such as:

I wonder if Calculating Cat took more than 1 bone……..what do you think?

I wonder if she took more than 5 bones………

What if……………

………there was a different number of bones in the bowl when Digit Dog got back?

……..Digit Dog had a different number of bones to begin with?

Encourage learners to make up some problems of  their own using toys and objects.

Posted in Additive relationships, Calculating, Fluency, Strategic competence

I wish I had……..

Screenshot 2020-07-01 09.48.30

Digit Dog is counting his bones. “One, two, three.” But 3 bones are not enough.

Reason about numbers by asking questions about the number of bones:

What if Digit Dog found 1 more bone? How many would he have then? How do you know that? Can you convince me?

What if he found 2 more bones?

What if he ate one bone?

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What does Digit Dog have to do to make his wish come true? How many more bones does he need? How can you work it out?

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Use a five-frame or ten-frame to help learners work out how to make Digit Dog’s wish come true and explain their thinking.

Explore other numbers of bones.

Posted in Additive relationships, Calculating, Fluency

Bone Splat!

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are playing a game of Bone Splat!

Screenshot 2020-07-01 08.57.08

You need:

A “splat” and some bones (download here).

To play:

First decide on the total number of bones – in this game they are exploring pairs of numbers that total 10. Count out that number of bones and put a digit card in the empty box on the “splat”.

Player One: close your eyes.

Player Two: hide some of the bones under the “splat”.

Player One: open your eyes and work out how many bones have been hidden under the splat.

Explain how you worked it out. Convince your partner that you are right.

Encourage learners to explain how they worked out the number of bones that are hidden. They might:

  • Use a 10 frame and objects (or visualise them like Calculating Cat);
  • Use a Numicon shape and toy bones or pegs;
  • Use a number line to count on;
  • Draw a picture;
  • Just know the number bond.

Record some number sentences to show how many different ways the bones can be hidden. For Digit Dog’s problem we could write: 6 + 4 = 10, 4 + 6 = 10, 10 – 4 = 6, 10 – 6 = 4.


Posted in Additive relationships, Calculating, Conceptual understanding, Strategic competence

What’s the question?

Digit Dog’s answer is 6 bones. What could the question be? Calculating Cat has thought of one question. How many questions can you think of?

6 bones

Encouraging learners to ask their own questions:

  • helps deepen their conceptual understanding.
  • encourages creativity and flexibility in thinking.
  • develops their strategic competence because they need to understand the structure of mathematical problems in order to make up their own. Creating your own questions is a challenging task.
  • develops their use of mathematical language and communication skills.
  • encourages use of logical reasoning as they explain their thinking and work systematically with the numbers in the questions they create.

Start with making up some subtraction questions like Calculating Cat’s question:

Digit Dog had 8 bones for his dinner. He ate 2. How many are left?  8 – 2 = 6

What if Digit Dog had a different number of bones to start with? Explore some different numbers. Which numbers can you use? Which can’t you use? What happens to the number of bones he eats if you change the number of bones he starts with?

Digit Dog had 9 bones for his dinner. He ate 3. How many are left?  9 – 3 = 6

Digit Dog had 10 bones for his dinner. He ate 4. How many are left?  10 – 4 = 6

Look for patterns. Work systematically.

What else could happen to the bones? Calculating Cat says he eats some. He could hide some, give some away, lose some……………be creative. Make up some funny problems. Remember his answer is 6 bones.

What if………..

………you made up some problems using addition? For example, Digit Dog had 4 bones, Calculating Cat gave him 2 more. How many does he have now? 4 + 2 = 6