More ideas for reasoning and problem-solving using the book Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh
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. Ask learners to explain their thinking and show, in any way they want, how the problem has been solved.
The problem of The Missing Mice
The snake put ten mice in his jar.
“Ten mice are enough. Now I am going to eat you up, little, warm and tasty, ” said the snake.
“Wait”, said one of the mice. “The jar isn’t full yet. And look at the big mouse over there.”
The snake was very greedy. He hurried off to get the big mouse.
When he got back…….what did he see?
Can you work out how many mice escaped while the snake was away?
How does the snake know that some mice have escaped?
What do you need to do first to solve the problem?
How many mice are still in the jar? How many have got away?
Explain how you can find out how many escaped. You might want to use a ten frame or Numicon shape 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 more than 1 escaped……..what do you think?
I wonder if more than 5 escaped………
………there was a different number of mice in the jar when the snake got back?
……..the snake started with a different number?
Encourage learners to make up some problems of their own using different numbers and different contexts.