We played a fun game this past week called “Cover up”. I learned it from the book “What to Look For” by Alex Lawson.
Each pair of students got 20 tiles. One partner closes their eyes while the other covers or removes some tiles. Then the first child figure out how many are covered up.
It didn’t take long for all the groups to realize organized arrays are better than disorganized piles. The array allows a child to count empty spaces.
I enjoyed watching them use lots of other strategies to figure out how many were missing: counting what was left then counting up to 20, counting backward from 20, noticing a whole row was missing, subitizing the number left. I had one group work with only 10 tiles on the first day, but by day 2 they also had 20. Even the kids who had trouble at first soon, with the support of their partner, figured out what to do. It was a great task! I’ll be adding it to our repertoire of games for Guided Math.