Each child was provided with a pot of counters. The children were told that they needed to find out how many counters were in their pot. The children opened their pot of counters, when all of a sudden, the teacher shouted ‘STOP!’. She informed them that they were not allowed to count how many counters were in their pots. The children were shocked by this news and wondered how they would ever find out how many were in their if they were not allowed to count.
As a class, we discussed how we could solve this problem. We thought about what we use in Maths to help us and some children suggested the use of Numicon. Using Numicon, the children organised the counters into the same structure of the Numicon shape. The children were then able to say how many counters there were, without ever having counted them. Then all children swapped their pots with a peer and continued to find out how many counters were in each pot.