Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paper Plate Number Puzzles

Here's a quick activity that's easy to adapt for many different themes and content areas, paper plate puzzles. Start with paper plates, these are smaller dessert sized ones, and cut them in half to make the puzzle. When I made a set for my kindergarten class I used standard sized ones because I went all the way up to thirty and needed space to put all the stickers.Cut each plate in half, trying to make a different type of cut so that each plate puzzle is unique. It gets kind of hard when you're doing a lot but at least vary them a little. Write the numeral on one side and add stickers to represent that number on the other, very simple. ER helped me make ours and loved using all the stickers.

The faint black marks you see on the bottom of the side with the 4 on it above, are the self checking dots I drew on the back. The idea is that ER can check her work, and make sure she's got the right match by counting the black dots and seeing if they're the same as the other side with stickers on it. Of course, it would help if she knew the concept of same! She is so literal that because they don't look exactly the same, she didn't quite understand how they are the same because they both have four things on them. Ah a new concept to work on!
We only did up to number five, because our objective is for ER to start recognizing numerals. She can already consistently count aloud and represent with small objects to twelve. Because having to think about the numeral or written number, is something I haven't really concentrated on before it was quite a challenging task for her.
Paper plate puzzles are a great and inexpensive, translation: cheap, way to make manipulative activities for your students. As a beginning teacher I had several sets because I didn't have a lot of money to spend on fancy activity sets from teacher stores. Come to think of it I still don't!

Other ways to use them include: simple classification (ex. a set with things that go in the bathroom to match up, things that go in the kitchen, in the bedroom etc), colors, uppercase and lowercase letter match, word families (ex. pig on one side and wig on the other), simple math facts (addition problem on one side and answer on the other), and contractions (can't on one half and cannot on the other)
This is part of the Halloween Show & Tell linky post I am cohosting at my other blog, come on by and jump on board with your Halloween celebrations, costumes, or themed lessons!
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