You need one counter and a dice (a dice with numbers 1, 2 and 3 is ideal but you can play with an ordinary 1 – 6 dice)

The game is for 2 players – one will be Digit Dog and the other will be Calculating Cat.

Put the counter on Start. Both players move the same counter BUT Digit Dog moves towards the bone and Calculating Cat moves towards the fish. Take turns to throw the dice and see who gets their food first. There will be a lot of moving back and fro.

When children throw the dice ask them to say how many spots there are without counting in ones – this is called subitising.

Put your bottle top bugs in a feely bag or a box or under a cloth. Each player takes one bug out, puts it in front of them and says how many spots there are. The player with more spots captures both bugs.

Keep playing until all the bugs have been used. The winner is the player who has captured most bugs.

Ensure learners are using correct mathematical language.

Ask:

Who has more spots? Who has fewer spots?

Who has more? Who has less?

Say:

I have more spots. I have fewer spots.

I have more. I have less.

Make sure that learners practise using fewer/less as well as more.

Practise subitising (saying how many spots there are without counting in ones). Seeing patterns and arrangements of objects is an important skill that helps with rearranging, combining, breaking up and putting together amounts in number.

When you turn over a bug, say how many spots there are without counting in ones. How do you know how many spots there are? Calculating Cat knows she has 7 spots because she saw 5 plus 2 more.

Match the numeral

Say how many spots you have and find that number on a number line.

Say how many spots you have and find a digit card to match that amount.

Extend the game

Ask Who has more spots? How many more?

Who has fewer spots? How many fewer?

I have …..spots. I have ……. more spots than my friend.

I have …….. spots. I have …….. fewer spots than my friend.

Vary the game

Change the rules so that the player with fewer spots wins.

Players take two bugs and add the number of spots together. They then compare their totals. The player with the greater total captures all four bugs.

Players take two bugs and find the difference. They then compare their differences. The player with the greater difference captures the four bugs.

Start to recognise patterns. Say how many spots there are without counting in ones.

Find the bug with 5 spots. Now find the one with one more than 5,one less than 5, two more/less than 5.

Find two bugs that have 8 spots altogether. Can you find another two with 8 spots? How many different pairs can you find? How do you know you have found them all?

Print your flik-flak onto A4 paper and laminate. Fold along the black lines and you’re ready to go.

In a large group:

Hold up the Digit Dog flik-flak and ask how many dogs can you see? You can show all the numbers from 0 to 10 by folding on the black lines. This allows children to practise counting sets of objects up to 10.

For example, you can fold the flik-flak like this:

Ask:

How many dogs can you see?

How many are there with red hats? How many with green hats?

What if there was one more dog? What if there was one less dog?

Show me with fingers how many dogs there are.

How many dogs? Do that number of jumps.

Once children can confidently count the dogs with 1:1 correspondence, encourage them to subitise i.e. to say how many dogs there are without counting in ones.

In a small group:

Give children individual flik-flaks and ask them show me questions. Use your questions to develop mathematical language and reasoning skills.

Use your flik-flak to show me:

Single digit numbers – 1, 2, 3, 4 ……etc.

The numbers 0 – 10 in order. How many ways can you show each number?

The same number as I am showing.

One less / one more than 3, than 4….. etc. How did you work it out? Can you do it without counting?

More/fewer than I am showing. Explain your answer. Has everyone got the same answer? Can you give me another answer?

Put your bottle top bugs in a feely bag or a box or under a cloth. Each player takes one bug out, puts it in front of them and says how many spots there are. The player with more spots captures both bugs.

Keep playing until all the bugs have been used. The winner is the player who has captured most bugs.

Ask:

Who has more spots? How many more?

Say:

I have ……. spots. I have ……. more spots than my friend.

Make sure that learners also practice using the word fewer.

Who has fewer spots? How many fewer?

I have …….. spots. I have …….. fewer spots than my friend.

Practise subitising (saying how many spots there are without counting in ones).

When you turn over a bug, say how many spots there are without counting in ones. How do you know how many spots there are?Calculating Cat knows she has 11 spots because she saw two groups of 5 plus 1.

Vary the game

Change the rules so that the player with fewer spots wins.

Players take two bugs and add the number of spots together. They then compare their totals. The player with the greater total captures all four bugs.

Players take two bugs and find the difference. They then compare their differences. The player with the greater / smaller difference captures the four bugs.

Wondering what to do with the tops of plastic milk bottles?

Make a set of Bottle Top Bugs.

Look at your bugs.

Count the spots and put the bugs in order.

Try to say how many spots there are without counting in ones. Start to recognise patterns.

Find the Bug

Find the bug with 5 spots. Now find the one with one more than 5, one less than 5, two more/less than 5.

Find two bugs that have 8 spots altogether. Can you find another two with 8 spots? How many different pairs can you find? How do you know you have found them all?

Small objects such as pennies, buttons or counters.

To play:

One player is the leader and has the ten frame cards in a pile, face down.

Other players have a blank ten frame and ten small objects each.

The leader turns over the top card for a few seconds and then turns it back again.

Other players make the pattern they saw with objects on their ten frame.

The leader turns over the card again to check the patterns. Players who were correct score one point.

Play until all cards have been turned over, or one player reaches 10 points.

The winner is the player with most points.

Variations

Make the number on your ten frame one more than the number on the card.

Make the number on your ten frame two more than the number on the card.

Make the number on your ten frame one less than the number on the card.

Make the number on your ten frame two less than the number on the card.

2. Who has more?

You need:

For 2 players

A set of Digit Dog ten frames for each player, in a pile face down.

To play:

On the count of 3, players turn over their top card. The player with more dogs wins the two cards and says “I have …….dogs. I have more dogs than you”. The other player says “I have ……. dogs. I have fewer dogs than you”.

The game ends when all cards have been turned over. The winner is the player with more cards.

Variation

The player with the fewer dogs wins the cards.

Say how many more and how many fewer dogs there are.

A few sets of Digit Dog ten frame flash cards – large or small

To play:

Place the cards in a pile face down.

One player shows the top card and then turns it back again, the other players have to say how many dogs were on the card. The length of time that the card is revealed can get shorter as learners get better at recognising the patterns.

Encourage learners to recognise patterns and to work out the number without counting each dog.

How did you know how many there are? Explain your thinking.

Variations

For learners still practising counting accurately, turn over the cards and count each dog. Place an object on each dog and count the objects.

For a challenge: turn over the card, show the dogs and then hide them again. This time say one more than the number of dogs or one less than the number, e.g. if there were 4 dogs on the card, you would say “one more is 5” or “one less is 3”.

Show these slides for a couple of seconds to practise saying how many objects there are without counting in ones.

To play:

Open slideshow.

Click once to reveal an image, click again for it to disappear.

Ask: “How many Digit Dogs can you see?”

At first learners will want to count each dog and you will need to leave the image on the screen. Practise recognising the groups of dogs and saying how many there are without having to count each one. How quickly can you do this?

Being able to look at a small set of objects (up to 5) and say how many there are without counting in ones is called subitising. Once children can count objects accurately we want them to move onto subitising, this is an important step in the development of number sense.

It is easier to subitise if objects are arranged in recognisable patterns, such as the dice dot patterns or on ten-frames. The frames are used so that learners can relate numbers to 5 and 10, an important understanding for calculation.

Perceptual subitising – instantly recognising a small group of objects, usually up to 5 or 6.

How many Digit Dogs can you see?

Conceptual subitising – seeing smaller groups of objects within a larger group to say how many there are without counting in ones. We do this when there are more than 5 or 6 objects.

I know there are 7 because I see 5 and 2 more.

I know there are 7 because I can see 4 and 3 more.

Subitising (recognising small amounts without counting)

Number bonds

Multiplication facts

Using mathematical language

Using reasoning skills.

Counting

Hold up the Digit Dog flik-flak and ask how many dogs can you see? You can fold the flik-flak along the black lines to show all the numbers from 0 to 10. This allows children to practise counting sets of objects up to 10.

Give children their own flik-flak and ask them to:

Show a single digit number – 1, 2, 3, 4 ……etc.

Show the numbers 0 – 10 in order. How many ways can you show each number?

Show the same number of dogs as you are showing.

Show one less / one more e.g. show me one less than 3, one more than 5….etc. How did you work it out? Can you do it without counting?

More/fewer than I am showing. Explain your answer. e.g. How many dogs am I showing? Can you show me more dogs? Can you show me fewer dogs?

Subitising

Once children can confidently count the dogs by pointing at each one and not making mistakes, encourage them to subitise i.e. to recognise amounts without counting. When they see 3 dogs, they can say it is 3 without counting 1, 2, 3. They should be able to do this with numbers up to 5.

Counting in 2s

Use the flik-flaks as a quick way to practise counting in 2s.

Show children the flik-flak and ask:

How many dogs can you see? How many eyes can you see? How many ears can you see? How did you count them?

Fold the flik-flak:

Ask:

How many eyes can you see now? How did you count them? Did you count in 2s? Did you say “3 lots of 2”?

Challenge:

I can see 10 eyes. Show me 10 eyes with your flik-flak. How many dogs are there if there are 10 eyes?

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are playing with the bottle top bugs (make them with milk bottle tops).

Put your bottle top bugs in a feely bag or a box or under a tea towel. Each player takes one bug out, puts it in front of them and says how many spots there are. The player with more spots captures the bugs. Keep playing until you have used all the bugs. The winner is the one to have captured most bugs.

Who has more spots? How many more?

Who has fewer spots? How many fewer?

Say how many spots there are without counting in ones. Calculating Cat knows she has 11 spots because she counted 5 + 5 + 1.

What if…….

…….the player with fewer spots wins?

…….players take out two bugs, add the number of spots and compare the totals? The player with the greater total captures the bugs.

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat have been practising their counting. Play their game by downloading it here.

You need one counter and a dice (a dice with numbers 1, 2 and 3 is ideal but you can play with an ordinary 1 – 6 dice)

The game is for 2 players – one will be Digit Dog and the other will be Calculating Cat.

Put the counter on Start. Both players move the same counter BUT Digit Dog moves towards the bone and Calculating Cat moves towards the fish. Take turns to throw the dice and see who gets their food first. There will be a lot of moving back and fro.

When children throw the dice ask them to say how many spots there are without counting in ones – this is called subitising.