Math at Home Math Access for Teachers
and Home Child Care Providers

CME Group Community Foundation

 

 

Mouse Count

Children will count sets of mice and add sets of mice together up to ten and
subtract from the set of mice, from ten down to zero.

 
Content Area Standard Target
  • Number and Operations
  • Algebra
  • Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another
  • Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates
  • Use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships
  • Understand various meanings of addition and subtraction of whole numbers and the relationship between the two operations
  • Understand the effects of adding and subtracting whole numbers
  • Develop and use strategies for whole-number computations, with a focus on addition and subtraction
  • Develop fluency with basic number combinations for addition and subtraction
  • Model situations that involve the addition and subtraction of whole numbers, using objects, pictures, and symbols
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Obtain materials Obtain the Materials
 
  • The book, Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Ten mice cut outs for each child and teacher.  You can also use other manipulatives and have them represent mice.  You should have 3 mice of one color, 3 mice of a different color and 4 mice of another color. 
  • Cut outs of a jar for each child.  Or actual jars.
  • Snake sock puppet or a rubber snake.
  • Gallon size plastic bags with zipper top.  Enough for each child and the teacher

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

   
Introduce the activity Introduce the Activity
 
  1. Explain that today the children will be counting mice.
  2. Prepare 10 mice cut outs for each child (3 brown, 3 tan and 4 white) and the teacher and a jar cut out for each child and the teacher.  Place the 10 mice and the jar in the plastic bag for each child.
  3. Display your mice and jar in a place where the children can see them.  Make sure that the mice are arranged in 3 groups by their color (brown, tan and white).
   
Engage the children Engage the Children
 
  1. Read the book, Mouse Count to the children.
  2. Using the snake puppet, add the appropriate number of mice to the jar at the appropriate places in the story.  When the snake first encounters the 3 sleeping mice and counts and puts each mouse into the jar, count along with the snake as you drop each of the 3 mice into the jar.  Use the 3 mice of the same color.
  3. Before you read on, say: “There are 3 mice in the jar, I wonder how many more mice the snake will add to the jar?”  Because of the color groupings of the mice, the children may be able to predict correctly the next number of mice to be added to the jar.
  4. When you get to the part in the book where the snake finds 4 mice, say: “There are three mice in the jar. Now, the snake is adding four more mice to the jar. Let’s count and see how many three mice plus four mice makes. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Seven mice in the jar.”
  5. Then, later in the story say: “There are seven mice in the jar. Now, the snake adds three more mice to the jar. Let’s count and see how many are in there now.” (Count to ten.) “There are ten mice in the jar.”
  6. When you get to the part of the book where the mice rock and tip the jar over, do the same with your jar full of mice.  In the book, all of the mice tumble out but when you tip your jar over, only have some of the mice fall out.
  7. Depending on how many mice fall out ask: “There were 10 mice in the jar.  4 mice fell out of the jar.  How many mice are left in the jar?”  Have the children count the remaining mice in the jar.  Say: “Six mice remain in the jar.”  “So, we can say, 10 mice take away 4 mice, leaves 6 mice.”  Repeat this several times, covering all of the combinations of 10.
  8. Tell the children that now they are going to help you mouse count.  Give each child the plastic bag with the cut out of the jar and the ten mice. 
  9. Re-read the story, pausing each time mice are added to the jar so that the children can add the correct number of mice to their jar.  Count the number of mice together as they add mice into their jar.
  10. After each deposit of mice, ask the children to count the mice in their jar to make sure that they are accurately counting the number of mice.  Ask the questions that help to reinforce their counting and problem solving.  “If we have 3 mice in our jars and we add 4 mice to our jars, how many is 3 mice and four mice?”  “7 mice.”  “That’s right.  We have 7 mice in our jars.”
  11. Once the children’s jars are filled with all 10 mice, tip over the jar and start taking away mice from the jar. Ask: “We have 10 mice in our jars and 6 mice spilled out.  How many mice do we have left in our jar?”  “4 mice.”  “Yes, that’s correct, 4 mice are left in the jar.”
  12. Continue until there are no more mice left in the jar.

Additional Extensions

  • Throughout the day, create opportunities for the children to count sets and add and/or subtract objects from the set.  An easy way to do this is with the daily attendance. Say: “There are four girls and five boys here today. If we add the girls and the boys together? How many children are there in school today?”
  • For a subtraction opportunity say: “There are ten children standing in line. What if the children with blonde hair sit down? How many children are left standing in line?”
   
Encourage vocabulary Encourage Vocabulary
 
  • Add – Increase in amount or number (e.g., "Now, the snake adds three more mice to the jar.")
  • How many – The total or sum (e.g., "Let’s count and see how many mice in the jar now.")
  • Subtract – Take one quantity away from another (e.g., “We have 10 mice in the jar.  We subtract 5 mice from the jar.  How many mice are left in the jar?”)
  • Take Away – To remove something (e.g., “If we have 7 mice in a jar and we take away 3 mice, how many mice will be left in the jar?”)
  • Count – To identify the amount of something by number (e.g., "Let’s count the number of mice together as we add mice into the jar. 1, 2, 3" [Point to each object while saying 1-2-3.])

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

   
Make adaptations Make Adaptations
 

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

  • Still be working with one-to-one correspondence and counting.
  • Still be working on combinations of 10 and adding single-digit numbers.
Vertical line

Pre-K Children may:

  • Have solidified their base-ten knowledge and easily work with combinations of 10.

Home child care providers may:

  • Assist the children in counting aloud as they add the mice to their bag. 
  • Reinforce numbers added by counting aloud and modeling the adding of the mice to the jar.

     

 

Home child care providers may:

  • Increase the number of mice that the children add and subtract from the jar.
  • Throughout the day, create opportunities for the children to count sets and add and/or subtract objects from the set.  An easy way to do this is with the daily attendance.“There are four girls and five boys here today. If we add the girls and the boys together? How many children are there in school today?”
   
Books Books
 
  • Mouse Count by Ellen Stohl Walsh (New York: HMH Books for Young Readers, 1995)
   
Music and movement Music and Movement
 
   
Outdoor connections Outdoor Connections
 
  • While waiting to go outdoors, create scenarios where children will have opportunities to count sets and combine (add) sets together or remove (subtract) objects from a set.
  • Using any objects found outside, have the children work with predetermined sets of objects.  10 leaves of different colors, 10 various playground equipment, 10 clothing items needed when the weather gets colder….

 

   
Explore links Web Resources
 

 

 


 

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