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Matching Numbers

Click on the cards to turn them over. Can you match the pictures? What do you need to look for?

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Here is a copy of the cards for this game.

Why do this problem?

This problem is designed to help children see numbers in many different ways. This can help them to develop the abstract idea of the numbers. This is sometimes known as "the two-ness of two".


Possible approach

Children could play this game in pairs at the computer, or you could use it as a whole class game using an interactive white boad.

You could begin by asking the group to tell you, or to draw, as many ways as they can of showing you a number, for example, five or eight. If they run out of ideas you could suggest a few they might not have thought of - for example dominoes, clock faces, Cuisenaire rods, finger signs, Multilink cubes.

Or show a couple of examples and ask the children what number they represent - for example hold up six fingers, show 12 o'clock.

Alternatively, you could let them play the game as it stands. The different representations are not meant to be difficult to work out, but should give some opportunity for accurate counting, number recognition and thinking about ways of showing the numbers.

It may be helpful to have  dominoes, dice, play-clocks, pegboards, counters, "Multilink" and Cuisenaire rods available, as well as paper and coloured pencils. If you want to make the cards to print them out and play with real cards rather than virtual ones, here they are.


Key questions

What number does this show?
How many dots are there here?
Can you find a domino with this number of dots?
What time does this clock say?
Can you make a line/stick of that number of cubes?
Can you make the number in a different way with the Cuisenaire rods?


Possible extension

Learners could choose to make their own sets of additional cards for the numbers used in the task or make additional sets of cards with different numbers. The game could be changed to a 'Happy Families' type game where the children work with printed sets of cards or their own sets to make sets of four or more cards by exchanging cards with their neighbours. Here is a set of blank cards for the children to make their own. The task would then be to describe to their friend the card they are seeking. This would help them to develop descriptive language as well as their memory of who might hold the card.


Possible support

An easier approach might be a sorting exercise in which children focused on sorting the printed cards into matching sets.