Friday, 2 January 2015

numicon and a light box....

Numicon shapes plus glass pebbles plus a light box in a cozy little nook
 under the counter!

Numicon is a set of manipulatives that teach early numeracy concepts in a multi-sensory way. Plastic shapes with holes in them represent each of the numbers to 10. They are sized and weighted so that kids can discover equivalencies in a number of ways. And best of all, they can pick them up, turn them around, put their fingers or pegs in the holes, immerse them in sand, press them into play dough, and so much more.

Set of 80 Numicon shapes.

Before Christmas, I set up a provocation with Numicon shapes and glass pebbles, which -- coincidentally -- fit nicely into the holes. I left them out with the light box, in a cozy little nook under the counter in my classroom. The shapes are opaque and the pebbles are transparent, allowing the numbers to literally light up on the light box.

Playing with the shapes and the pebbles, kids are able to explore and solidify their understanding of quantity. Seven pebbles fit in the seven holes on the seven shape, confirming that seven discreet objects equals the collective concept of seven. I guess that's one-to-one correspondence.

At the same time, the feel of the pebbles meets kids' needs for sensory experience; learning with their hands. And the glow of light through glass gives the activity some of the beauty and the mystery of a Christmas tree.

One-to-one matching with Numicon shapes and glass pebbles.

For kids who are ready for more of a challenge, I put out craft sticks with simple equations on them, and challenged the kids to show or build each equation.

I am thinking of putting out markers and letting them draw or write their discoveries on the paper on the wall behind this provocation. Stay tuned.

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