A red board with some or all its plugs removed makes an excellent counting frame. They can be used individually, in small groups, or as the whole class.
I wonder how many there will be if we put all our counting frames together in a line.
Asking the children to estimate first is a feature which encourages learning. Having estimated, they want to check.
The gaps themselves can be counted but plugging in with yellow/blue plugs to build up a counting sequence adds a visual and kinaesthetic dimension to the learning. For example, the image above shows counting by fives. Alternating colours highlights the fives and also encourages counting by ten. The boards themselves encourage counting by twenty-fives.
Small cards can be added along the line as markers to show numerals for the count as it grows. Another variation is for the children to skip count on their calculator as the counting sequence builds up.
How could we use our calculator to check our answer?
Partnering this activity with the calculator game Predict A Count strengthens the learning even more.
- 1:1 correspondence
- estimating number
- exploring large numbers
- group (or skip) counting
- making/recording groups of 10
- mathematical conversation
- multiplication - array model
- number line - ordering, operations
- pattern recognition
- recording - calculator
- visual and kinaesthetic representation of number