Squirrel Away - Subitizing Game for Structuring Numbers (7-12)

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"Can we play again?"

This is an awesome game I use to help teach spatial patterns and subitizing while working on structuring numbers with my first-grade math intervention group. They love it! This is the 7-12 version. The 1-6 version is also available in our store.


You also get the Kat and Squirrel story that goes with the game

and Bonus!

Spanish language dice "covers".
Roman numeral dice "covers".
Squirrel Away Artwork

What to do:
Print the pages of dice "covers". Each player will eventually have his or her own set of 12 dice. We have included 12 colors (enough for 12 players). If you need more sets for more players, copy the black and white version onto colored paper that looks different
from the printed colors. Or (this is what I did) just print the black and white version and copy onto as many different colors of colored paper as kids you'll need sets for. (15 kids = 15 colors; 2 sheets of each color= 30 sheets of colored paper) Purchase 3/4 inch wood blocks from a craft store (as many as you think you'll
need - # of kids times 12). Cut out dice "covers" and glue or tape to the wood blocks, wrapping them around each surface. (I used Modge-Podge on the outside to give them some durability. I didn't want all that hard work -cutting and gluing- to be ruined after one game!) Group by color. Aren't they beautiful?!

How to Play:
Each child gets a set of 12 dice of the same color. I have the kids spread out around the room on the floor, but they can play at desks or tables. With a small group you could have them work together at a table. When I introduce this game we all start out 'squirreling away' the number seven. So, have all players hold all their dice in 2 hands (a little tricky for the small-handed) then say "Go!". They all drop their dice. Each player looks through his or her dice searching for any representations of "seven". (NO FLIPPING ALLOWED!) "Squirrel away" all the dice with "seven" into a collection area to the side of the drop zone. These dice should still have "seven" on the top. (This is important so the teacher can see if the child is gathering the correct number.) Players then grab the other dice and roll them again. (You can have them grab and roll together or at their own pace - whichever works best for your situation.) After the new roll they once again "squirrel away" any representations of "seven" to the collection area, grab extras, and roll again. Continue in this pattern until someone has all of the "sevens" squirreled away. That person can raise a hand or shout "Done!" They are the first winner. Play to get as many winners as you want. After the first round I usually use a target of eight, then nine, and so on. The next day I might mix up the numbers, starting with ten, then eight, etc. Later on I might allow them to choose individual numbers after their first throw. My students love to play this game - even alone. They beg me to confirm that they have the same number represented and are so proud when they do.

Goals of the lesson
Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
Count to answer "how many?" questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a
number from 1-20, count out that many objects.
Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
30 Minutes

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Squirrel Away - Subitizing Game for Structuring Numbers (7-12)
Squirrel Away - Subitizing Game for Structuring Numbers (7-12)
Squirrel Away - Subitizing Game for Structuring Numbers (7-12)
Squirrel Away - Subitizing Game for Structuring Numbers (7-12)
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