Get kids thinking about numbers with a variety of classroom activities that require hands-on participation in addition to any screen-based games. Infuse other topics with math talk and number awareness. For example, create piles during clean up and ask kids to quickly say how many items are in the pile. Rearrange and try again. Have kids pair up to play Gracie and Friends Treasure Bubbles. They can start by discussing strategy, for example, should they take turns counting and directing or should it be a team effort all the way through? Then have them practice coordinating their moves together. Gracie and Friends Treasure Bubbles can be a fun learning station as part of a more comprehensive and generalized unit on beginning math skills and number fluency. Download the whole suite of apps and use the printable worksheets to get kids really engaged and comfortable with small numbers. And, look out for a full teacher's guide coming in 2015.Continue reading Show less
Gracie and Friends Jungle Gym is part of a suite of apps and off screen activities that aim to teach one very specific math skill: subitizing, or recognizing quantity without having to count. Kids practice recognizing quantity without having to count for numbers 1 through 5. This game is designed for two players, though with good coordination kids could play on their own. Each player must tap and hold a bubble wand to blow up two bubbles with the target number of treasures inside. Then, each player taps and drags a character holding a rope to pop falling bubbles that hold the target number of treasures in different configurations (for example, three treasures can be lined up in a row, or stacked like a pyramid). Levels progress in order from two treasures up to five, and then repeat for a second round. There's some built-in extra support for kids who make a few mistakes.
Like all apps in this suite, Gracie and Friends Treasure Bubbles is sharply focused on one math skill: subitizing. Kids will get good practice quickly judging quantity as they filter which bubbles have the right number of treasures and which ones don't. The playing-in-two feature is a nice way to get kids working together with another kid or a grown-up. However, popping the bubbles requires some quick thinking and moving; it may be hard to coordinate choosing bubbles and moving in the right direction quickly enough to catch the bubble. Blowing bubbles is such a classically exciting activity for young kids that they're bound to love blowing and popping to their heart's content -- all without getting the floor wet with bubble solution. Yet, with only five levels and no variation in mode of play, even bubbles may start to bore kids. And, it would be nice to see the second round of levels up the challenge rather than simply repeat the first cycle. Overall, this is a free, super fun -- if short-lived -- and worthwhile part of the Gracie and Friends subitizing suite.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
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