Cards game and visualising number lines

Today I played what appears to be a simple card game in Foundation. It goes like this-

In pairs the children are given the cards 1-5 (we’re working with numbers to 5 in this year level)

Place the 5 cards face down. Taking it in turns, flip one card over and place it where you think it would go in the counting sequence of 1,2,3,4,5.  Now its the other partners turn. They flip a card and place it where they think it goes. This continues with students taking turns until all 5 cards are in order.

Watch our Foundation children play this game. Another short video can be found here

The cards are not always flipped over in sequential order. This is where the difficulty lies. Although children can often count up to large numbers when they enter Foundation, that doesn’t always go with understanding what it is they’re counting, what makes 3, what number comes before, what numbers comes after etc.

What skills, understandings and strategies do you think children can develop from playing this game?

This would be a fantastic game to apply the 5 Practices Model to.

This game is a wonderful opportunity for children to engage in the Mathematics Proficiencies of

  • Understanding,
  • Fluency
  • Problem Solving
  • Reasoning

The maths discussions that took place helped students who found the task challenging to develop their understandings as well as those who were very proficient the chance to think deeply about their understandings and justify, explain and elaborate their choices.

To further challenge the children, cards 1-10 were given and they were off and running placing them in order from smallest to largest. Many children went to resources around the room including the number line and hundreds chart. It was great to see them utilising the resources at their fingertips so confidently.

A big thanks goes to Doug Clarke who shared this game with us at the February PMSS conference. Not only was it fun but a great task/game for assessing student understanding.