We bought the paper plate owl pack for $2 at a Variety Store and then thought about how we could use it. We noticed that it was great for spotting pairs and/or for counting in twos and hence this idea for a lesson.
When you look at the first slide you see that the parts are set out in twos with one subitisable group of 5. Asking how many pieces there are to make the owl students may decide to count by 1s or 2s. We recently asked a student who was touch counting similar pieces whether she could count them in 2s. She replied yes, looked at the ceiling and counted in 2s with no idea that she could actually touch and count by 2s. The teachers said we are just learning to count in 2s and now we realise that we should really be counting objects in 2s not just parroting the sequence.
In the classroom
Download the PowerPoint slide show for What Changed.
At the simplest level simply show the slides asking the students to notice what changed and to go back and check. They should soon notice that two things are being moved each time and so spotting 2s will develop. Involve the students in predicting what might change next before moving through the slides.
Immerse the students in counting the pieces, either in 1s or in 2s as appropriate. Even though your students may not themselves be ready to count in 2s, yet it is valuable to immerse them in the process so that they will build some understanding of the sequence, and the way it speeds up counting, before you actually formalise the sequence.
Counting back is as important as counting on so involve the students in identifying how many pieces will be left on the table after another two have been stuck onto the owl, count back in 1s or 2s as appropriate. Also involve the students in saying how many pieces will be stuck on the owl altogether each time.
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