Mental Mondays #11

mental and oral mathsWith this week’s mental and oral starter idea we are thinking about counting on (and counting back) and place value.

Like most of our other suggestions this can very easily be adapted to suit the needs of your children, which means it could be used with Early Years right up to Key Stage 3. We have also found that it adds a renewed level of interest and enthusiasm to ‘counting on’.

Here’s how it works with (say) Y3 children. You need a set of five cards showing different counting steps – these can be simply numbers written on scraps of card:

Number Cards

The cards are shuffled and held face down by the teacher. The top card is turned over and held up so all of the children can see it, they start counting from zero in steps as indicated on the card, for example:

2

"2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14"

The card is displayed throughout the count.

When the count is established (after seven or eight numbers), the teacher puts the card down and immediately shows the next one, the count must continue unbroken from the point where the cards were swapped:

5

(continuing from 14) "19, 24, 29, 34, 39, 44, 49"


Next card…

1

(continuing from 49) "50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57"

Next card…

-10

(suddenly we are counting down) "47, 37, 27, 17, 7"


Next card…

100

"107, 207, 307, 407, 507…"

When children are confident with this, and can move fluently form one type of counting to another, the cards can be changed more frequently. You could also ask a child to take control of the cards; to orchestrate the counting.
 

Extension and Alternative ideas:

Younger children could use a simplified set of counting cards; possibly ones containing duplicates, so that on occasions when the card changes the counting step remains the same. For example:

1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 10

More able groups should be challenged by using a broader range of counting steps:

-10, -5, -2, 0.5, 3, 7, 9, 50

It would also be useful to use algebraic variables

This is displayed on the wall:

a = 2
b = 10
c = 100

Counting cards include:

1/b,  1/a, ab, c/a

Extension – challenge the children to keep the counting cards the same, but to find other values for the letters a, b and c that would give meaningful counting steps.



If you like this mental maths idea please send us some Google+ love, and let your friends and colleagues know about mathsticks.com

14 Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Marcus Halms's picture

Always looking for ways to

Always looking for ways to freshen up mental ideas - will try this tomorrow
up
0 users have voted.
acopley's picture

I have been looking for some

I have been looking for some new counting ideas for some pupils who I support in Year 4. We have done lots of counting in deifferent stpes but I was looking for a way to extend the counting. I love this idea and will be trying it later. Will let you know.
up
0 users have voted.
topaztigs's picture

Just made my own cards with

Just made my own cards with +1, -1, +2, -2, +5, -5, +10 and -10 Going to print and laminate 2 sets and then have them ready whenever - think my year 2 class will enjoy this AND it will help with their counting! Great idea thanks
up
0 users have voted.
johdu's picture

That sounds great. Thank you

That sounds great. Thank you for your feedback.

John

up
0 users have voted.
ltgoheen's picture

 Perfect! I have been looking

 Perfect! I have been looking for something to help with skip counting and patterns! I like how simple this is to implement! Liz
up
0 users have voted.
deborah.still's picture

 What a really catchy idea.

 What a really catchy idea. It certainly gets the students thinking and having to listen to everyone else.
up
0 users have voted.
carlyrae's picture

 Great idea!

 Great idea!
up
0 users have voted.
kathynz's picture

 I did this with my Year 2

 I did this with my Year 2 class just using cards marked 1,2 and 10 and they loved it. Really simple but all the children were engaged and focused. Brilliant!
up
0 users have voted.

I really like this idea...why

I really like this idea...why is it the simple ones are always the ones that work best (and I can never think of on my own!)?  Thank you so much for this idea, I can't wait to try it myself with my Year 2 class.
up
0 users have voted.
yoyo123's picture

I  love the way that this can

I  love the way that this can be adapted to suit many different age groups and abilities thankyou
up
0 users have voted.
rhoneyman's picture

 This is excellent! I have

 This is excellent! I have discovered that children learn to rote count by 2, 5 and 10 but can not for the life of them count off the decade or start at different starting points and count on or back. This game allows them to practice this skill in a fun situation. Brilliant and I will share this with the all of the teachers.
up
1 user has voted.
lisajane's picture

Sounds great can't wait to

Sounds great can't wait to try it with my year three's
up
0 users have voted.
kk703's picture

A lovely Game, My Year 2

A lovely Game, My Year 2 children loved it!
up
3 users have voted.
johdu's picture

That's really good news.

That's really good news. Thank you for the feedback.
up
0 users have voted.