There are 8 rooms and the number tells you how many eggs are in each room. Digit Dog has to go into the rooms and collect the eggs BUT he can only go into each room ONCE.

How many presents can Digit Dog collect?

How many different ways can he go though the store?

Can you record his routes? How might you do this?

Can you do it a different way, Digit Dog, and collect more eggs?

What’s the most eggs you can collect?

What’s the smallest number of eggs?

Look for children who are planning the routes and can explain their thinking.

Simplify the task

Put Numicon® shapes in each room so that Digit Dog can collect a shape when he has gone through the room. These can then be added together to find the total number of eggs.

I went to rooms 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8. How many eggs did I collect altogether?

I have put the shapes on the number line so that I can see the total without counting in ones.

2. Use the blank store and put just numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the rooms.

3. Put just Numicon® shapes in the rooms – no numerals.

4. Put mini-eggs in the rooms. Instead of counting in ones, put the eggs in the Numicon® ten-shapes to find the total.

Extend the challenge

Use the blank store and put higher numbers in each room.

Challenge children to find all possible routes and to explain how they know they have found them all.

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are using the Numicon® shapes to cover the picture of the Easter Chick .

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

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

Compare your chick 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?

Play What’s missing?

When the chick is covered with shapes, one child closes their eyes, another takes away one shape. Which one is missing? How do you know?

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

Ask:

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

Can you cover the chick 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 chick? Which shapes will work? Which won’t? Why?

Encourage learners to describe and explain what they are doing.

Look for those learners who have a strategy for choosing shapes and those who use trial and improvement.

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 chicks together and ask “what is the same?” “what is different?”

Try the same activities with the Easter Bunny (download here).

If you want more ideas for Foundation Phase mathematics, join us on March 13th in the Future Inn, Cardiff to explore ways of developing firm foundations in mathematical concepts. Book here www.collectivelearning.co.uk

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?

When the pig is covered, one child closes their eyes, another takes away one shape. Which one is missing? How do you know?

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.

Ask:

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?”

Try the same activities with the other animals (download here).

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.

Ask children to:

read the cards;

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?

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.

How many gold coins can Digit Dog collect? Digit Dog is trying to collect the pirate’s gold coins. Here is a map of where the pirate keeps the coins (download and print your map here)

Use the Digit Dog pirate counters to move on the board (download here)

There are 8 rooms and the number tells you how many coins are in each room. Digit Dog has to go into the rooms and collect the coins BUT he can only go into each room ONCE.

How many coins can Digit Dog collect?

How many different ways can he go though the rooms?

Can you record his routes? How might you do this?

What’s the most coins you can collect?

What’s the smallest number of coins?

Look for children who are planning the routes and can explain their thinking.

Simplify the task

Put gold coins in each room so that Digit Dog can collect them as he goes through. He can then count them at the end to find out how many he has.

Put Numicon® shapes in each room so that Digit Dog can collect a shape when he has gone through the room. These can then be added together to find the total number of coins. Using the shapes encourages children to calculate rather than count in ones.

I went to rooms 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8. How many coins did I collect altogether?

I have put the shapes on the number line so that I can see the total without counting in ones.

Encourage children to use number bonds to find the totals.

3. Use the blank store and put just numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the rooms.

4. Put just Numicon® shapes or coins in the rooms – no numerals.

Extend the challenge

Use the blank store and put higher numbers in each room.

Challenge children to find all possible routes and to explain how they know they have found them.

There are 8 rooms and the number tells you how many presents are in each room. Digit Dog has to go into the rooms and collect the presents BUT he can only go into each room ONCE.

How many presents can Digit Dog collect?

How many different ways can he go though the store?

Can you record his routes? How might you do this?

Can you do it a different way, Digit Dog, and collect more presents?

What’s the most presents you can collect?

What’s the smallest number of presents?

Look for children who are planning the routes and can explain their thinking.

Simplify the task

Put Numicon® shapes in each room so that Digit Dog can collect a shape when he has gone through the room. These can then be added together to find the total number of presents.

I went to rooms 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8. How many presents did I collect altogether?

I have put the shapes on the number line so that I can see the total without counting in ones.

2. Use the blank store and put just numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the rooms.

3. Put just Numicon® shapes in the rooms – no numerals.

Extend the challenge

Use the blank store and put higher numbers in each room.

Challenge children to find all possible routes and to explain how they know they have found them.

Place the pictures (download here) on the grid so that no pictures that are the same are placed next to each other in any column or row e.g. you cannot have two snowmen in squares next to each other. An activity that encourages children to think logically, check their work and explain their thinking.

Explain how you did it. How did you start? Have you checked that you have followed Digit Dog’s rule?

Is there more than one way to do it?

What do you notice? What is the same and what is different about their grids?