## February 1st 2022 is the beginning of the Year of the Tiger

It’s the Chinese year of the tiger and Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are using the Numicon® shapes to cover the picture of the tiger.

You will need the tiger picture (download here – make sure you print at 100% so that it is the right size for the shapes) and a set of Numicon® shapes. If you don’t have the plastic shapes you can download a set of printable Numicon® shapes here.

Use the Numicon® shapes to cover the tiger in any way you can. You could copy Digit Dog and Calculating cat.

What do you notice about the ways they have covered the tiger? Which shapes did they use? How many shapes? What is the same and what is different?

How many different ways can you cover the tiger? Describe what you’ve done.

Compare your tiger with your friend’s. What’s the same and what’s different? How did you check that your way was different from your friend’s?

How did you cover the tiger? How many shapes did you use? Talk about how you chose the shapes. Which shapes were most useful?

Can you cover the tiger again, using different shapes?

How many different ways can you do it?

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

Can you just use odd shapes? Even shapes?

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?

Play What’s missing? with Digit Dog.

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat have removed one shape from their tiger. Which shape do you think it is? Why do you think that?

Could you fill that space with more than one shape? Which ones?

Play the game with a friend. Cover your tigers with shapes. Player 1 close your eyes, player 2 take away one shape. Player 1 say which shape is missing and explain how you know.

Feely bag challenge

Put some shapes in a feely bag, take them out one at a time and place on the tiger. Can you find the shapes you want by touch alone?  This helps with visualising the shapes.

Challenge learners to:

• describe and explain what they are doing, to reason why they have chosen certain shapes.
• have a strategy for choosing shapes rather than do it randomly.
• swap shapes for other equivalent shapes each time they look for a new arrangement rather than starting from the beginning.
• put all their completed tigers together and ask “what is the same?” “what is different?”

Posted in Chinese New Year, Logical reasoning, Numicon

## 2021 is the Year of the Ox

It’s the Chinese year of the ox and Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are using the Numicon® shapes to cover the picture of the ox.

You will need the ox picture (download here – make sure you print at 100% so that it is the right size for the shapes) and a set of Numicon® shapes. If you don’t have the plastic shapes you can download a set of printable Numicon® shapes here.

Use the Numicon® shapes to cover the ox in any way you can.

How many different ways can you do it? Describe what you’ve done.

Compare your ox with your friend’s. What’s the same and what’s different? How did you check that your way was different from your friend’s?

How did you cover the ox? How many shapes did you use? Talk about how you chose the shapes. Which shapes were most useful?

Can you cover the ox again, using different shapes?

How many different ways can you do it?

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

Can you just use odd shapes? Even shapes?

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?

What’s missing?

When the ox is covered, player 1 closes their eyes, player 2 takes away one shape. Player 1 says which shape is missing and explains how they know.

Feely bag challenge

Put some shapes in a feely bag, take them out one at a time and place on the ox. Can you find the shapes you want by touch alone?  This helps with visualising the shapes.

Challenge learners to:

• describe and explain what they are doing.
• have a strategy for choosing shapes rather than do it randomly.
• swap shapes for other equivalent shapes each time they look for a new arrangement rather than starting from the beginning.
• put all their completed rats together and ask “what is the same?” “what is different?”

Posted in Calculating, Chinese New Year, Making totals

## 2021 is the Chinese Year of the Ox

Digit Dog is getting ready to celebrate Chinese New Year which begins on February 12th.

He has given Calculating Cat a lucky red envelope with some coins in it. See if you can work out how much money could be in the envelope.

Posted in Chinese New Year, Numicon, Problem solving

## It’s the Year of the Rat

It’s the Chinese year of the rat and Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are using the Numicon® shapes to cover the picture of the rat.

You will need the rat picture (download here) and a set of Numicon® shapes. Ask learners to use the Numicon® shapes to cover the rat in any way they can.

How many different ways can you do it? Describe what you’ve done.

Compare your rat with your friend’s. What’s the same and what’s different? How did you check that your way was different from your friend’s?

1. When the rat is covered, one child closes their eyes, another takes away one shape. Which one is missing? How do you know?
2. Put some shapes in a feely bag, take them out one at a time and place on the rat. Can you find the ones you want by touch alone?  This helps with visualising the shapes.

How did you cover the rat? How many shapes did you use? Talk about how you chose the shapes. Which shapes were most useful?

Can you cover the rat using different shapes?

How many different ways can you do it?

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

Can you just use odd shapes? Even shapes?

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?

Encourage learners to describe and explain what they are doing.

Look for those learners who had a strategy for choosing shapes and those who did it randomly.

Look for learners who swap shapes for other equivalent shapes each time they look for a new arrangement rather than starting from the beginning.

Encourage learners to put all their completed rats together and ask “what is the same?” “what is different?”

Posted in Chinese New Year, Numicon, Problem solving

## It’s the Year of the Pig

It’s the Chinese year of the pig and Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are using the Numicon® shapes to cover the picture of the pig.

You will need the pig picture (download and print on pink paper) and a set of Numicon® shapes. Ask learners to use the Numicon® shapes to cover the pig in any way they can.

How many different ways can you do it? Describe what you’ve done.

Compare your pig with your friend’s. What’s the same and what’s different? How did you check that your way was different from your friend’s?

1. When the pig is covered, one child closes their eyes, another takes away one shape. Which one is missing? How do you know?
2. Put some shapes in a feely bag, take them out one at a time and place on the pig. Can you find the ones you want by touch alone?  This helps with visualising the shapes.

How did you cover the pig? How many shapes did you use? Talk about how you chose the shapes. Which shapes were most useful?

Can you cover the pig using different shapes?

How many different ways can you do it?

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

Can you just use odd shapes? Even shapes?

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 pig? Which shapes will work? Which won’t? Why?

Encourage learners to describe and explain what they are doing.

Look for those learners who had a strategy for choosing shapes and those who did it randomly.

Look for learners who swap shapes for other equivalent shapes each time they look for a new arrangement rather than starting from the beginning.

Encourage learners to put all their completed pigs together and ask “what is the same?” “what is different?”

Posted in Chinese New Year, Problem solving

## Chinese New Year – the 12 zodiac animals problem

There are many versions of the story about the order of animals in the Chinese zodiac. They all involve a race with the order of the zodiac animals being chosen according to the order in which the animals finished the race.

This is a problem solving activity for groups of 3 or 4 children, or it can be used as a class/group activity with younger children to encourage discussion, reasoning, logical thinking and use of mathematical language.

The 14 clue cards have all the information needed to solve the problem. Cut out the cards and share them between the children in the group.

• find the card that tells them what to do (Find the order of the animals)
• organise the cards – which ones are most useful to start? which have redundant information?

Work through the information. Use the numeral cards and picture cards to help.

Use children themselves and the animal masks from www.primarytreasurechest.com to solve the problem. Read the clues and children can move around to find the right order.

Encourage children to check their solution by reading through the clues again.

Posted in Calculating, Chinese New Year, Making totals

## 2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig

Digit Dog is getting ready to celebrate Chinese New Year which begins on February 5th and ends on February 19th.

He has given Calculating Cat a lucky red envelope with some coins in it. See if you can work out how much money could be in the envelope.

Posted in Chinese New Year

## Chinese New Year – the 12 zodiac animals problem

There are many versions of the story about the order of animals in the Chinese zodiac. They all involve a race with the order of the zodiac animals being chosen according to the order in which the animals finished the race.

This is a problem solving activity for groups of 3 or 4 children, or it can be used as a class/group activity with younger children to encourage discussion, reasoning, logical thinking and use of mathematical language.

The 14 clue cards have all the information needed to solve the problem. Cut out the cards and share them between the children in the group.

• find the card that tells them what to do (Find the order of the animals)
• organise the cards – which ones are most useful to start? which have redundant information?

Work through the information. Use the numeral cards and picture cards to help. If using this as a class actvity, use the animal masks from www.primarytreasurechest.com and  children can move around in response to the clues to find the right order.

Encourage children to check their solution by reading through the clues again.

Posted in Chinese New Year

## 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog

Digit Dog is excited that this year is the Year of the Dog. He is getting ready to celebrate the Spring Festival which begins on February 16th and ends on March 2nd.

He has given Calculating Cat a lucky red envelope with some coins in it. See if you can work out how much money could be in the envelope.