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?
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………
………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.