Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

Number Sequence Puzzle

Children will assemble a puzzle using number strips in the order of 1-10.

Content Area Standard Target
• Number and Operations
• Algebra
• Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems
• Understand patterns, relations, and functions
• Use multiple models to develop initial understandings of place value and the base-ten number system
• Develop understanding of the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers and of ordinal and cardinal numbers and their connections
• Sort, classify, and order objects by size, number, and other properties
• Recognize, describe, and extend patterns such as sequences of sounds and shapes or simple numeric patterns and translate from one representation to another
• Analyze how both repeating and growing patterns are generated
Obtain the Materials

• Attach magnets to the back of the number strips putting one at the top and bottom of each strip.  Use metal trays for the children to use as a surface to put the puzzle pieces together on.  This step is optional but it can help the children to keep their pieces in one place and a framework in which to organize their work.

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

1. Poll the children.  Ask them who likes to do puzzles?  Explain that today they are going to learn a new puzzle – a number sequence puzzle.
2. Explain the instructions of the puzzle – Say: “You are going to receive 10 strips with the numbers 1 through 10 on the bottom.  Your job is to put those strips in order from 1 to 10 and when you do, it will form a picture.”
3. Review sequence counting.  Count together starting at 1 and going to the number 10.

Engage the Children

1. Give the children the 10 number strips and have them work on putting the strips into the correct sequence
2. You can use the metal trays for the children to use as a working surface.
3. Print and prepare multiple puzzles so that when a child is done with one puzzle they can work on another one.  The children love to see the pictures they create by following the number sequence.

• While still cutting a picture into 10 strips, use a different number sequence.  You can chose 30-40, even numbers starting with 2 and ending at 20, skip counting by 5s starting at 5 and ending at 50.  Whichever number sequence or counting pattern you are working on can be applicable to this puzzle.
• Instead of cutting 10 number strips, cut the picture into squares – 3 by 3.  You can choose to put the numbers on the square or not.  If you do choose to put the numbers on the square, place them in the bottom right hand corner or on the back.

Encourage Vocabulary

• Sequence An ordered set of numbers, shapes or other mathematical objects arranged according to a rule (e.g., "The number 2 comes before the number 3 in our number sequence.")

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

• Have difficulty putting the number 1-10 in sequential order.

Pre-K Children may:

• Put the number strip in numerical order with ease.

Home child care providers may:

• Cut a simple picture into 5 strips and label the strips 1 – 5.

• Have the children work with a shorter, simpler number sequence.

Home child care providers may:

• While still cutting a picture into 10 strips, use a different number sequence.  You can chose 30-40, even numbers starting with 2 and ending at 20, skipping counting by 5s starting at 5 and ending at 50.  Whichever number sequence or counting pattern you are working on can be applicable to this puzzle.
• Instead of cutting 10 number strips, cut the picture into squares – 3 by 3.  You can choose to put the numbers on the square or not.  If you do choose to put the numbers on the square, place them in the bottom right hand corner or on the back.

Books

• Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews (New York: Greenwillow Books, 1995)
• The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (London: Hamilton Hamish Children, 1994)

Music and Movement

• Recite nursery rhymes and sing songs that include counting such as: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, There Were Ten in the Bed, This Old Man, Five Little Ducks and The Ants Go Marching One by One. This will give your child an opportunity to practice counting in a fun and playful manner. You can find free song lyrics and listen to melodies at www.kididdles.com.

Outdoor Connections

• Wagon Walk – Every day place a different number on a small wagon.  Let the children take turns, taking the wagon around the yard for a walk collecting items to put into the wagon.  The object of the game is to place the same number of items in the wagon as the number on the wagon indicates.  When the child has the correct number of items in his wagon, they can show you, then have them replace the items back where they belong so another child can have a turn.

Web Resources

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