Pin It This is one of the first activities I put in my math tubs each year. I use it to help students understand how numerals relate to number words and sets of objects. I introduce these activities by reading "Fish, Swish! Splash, Dash!: Counting Round and Round" by Suse MacDonald.
or Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood.
Then after reading one of the books, I give each set of partners a Ziploc bag containing the fish cards. Click here fish cards to download all three sets. They are told that some of the fish belong together and I would like to see if they can find those fish. I then give my students time to look at the fish and see what they can do. You can differentiate this activity by using only fish 1-10, 1-15, or allowing them to explore the entire set up to 20.
Other games that my students play with the fish cards:
Sequencing: Again, I can differentiate by changing how many fish are in each set or by separating the fish into dots, numerals, and number words.
Concentration: Students must match all three fish (numeral, number word, and set).
Beat the Clock: Students race an egg timer to sequence the fish in numerical order. I can differentiate this activity by separating the fish into sets of dots, numerals, and number words. Then students can sequence one, two, or all three of the sets. When they can beat the egg timer they love to change this game by starting with the largest number and counting backward.
What's missing? Students separate the cards into sets (dots, numerals, number words) and then with their partner, choose which set to use. They sequence the set together. Then, one partner closes his/her eyes, while the other removes a fish card. The other partner opens his/her eyes and figures out which card is missing. An easy extension to this game is to have students remove more than one card. I usually have them play this game with the dot cards or the number words to make it more challenging.
Go Fish: Each student starts with 6 fish cards. The rest of the cards are placed face down between the children. Students try to collect sets of three fish by asking their partner for "the numeral 3" for instance. If they have the "numeral 3" they must hand it over to their partner. If the partner does not have the "numeral 3" card they say "go fish" and the child draws a fish out of the deck. Sets are complete, and can be put down when the student has the numeral, dot, and number word card. (This game is a little harder, but I always have a few students who are ready to play.)
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