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Language and Communication Matches unequal sets  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Pupils match two unequal sets.

Early years skill:Numbers
Early years typical range:30-50m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:Maths Number and Algebra
P-scales/Curriculum level:P6
TAP skill:Language (old categories)
TAP level:TAP36
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Giving out

Books/pencils/cups etc to class mates.

Pile of items the teacher wants handed round to the class

Give the child a pile of books to hand out.

Does the child notice if there is one too many or one too few? Set it up so that there is one too many/few and comment. Say 'Look......too many/too few books/pens' etc.

Commenting on 'unequal sets' is a very everyday activity.

Children experience 'unequal sets' when there are too few chairs in the class room, too many children for the number of cakes at dinner.

Comment on these experiences.

Keep the activity concrete - work with objects at this stage.

Completing a form board

Form boards

Set up a form board activity where there are too many pieces or too few pieces.

When the child finishes the form board, comment on the different amount of pieces compared to the amount of pieces actually needed.

Car parking

Paper with parking slots drawn on e.g.:



Various cars

Play parking games with cars. Comment on when there are too many/few cars.

Does the child notice when the number of cars does not match the number of slots for cars?

Point this out.

Snack time party

Real party with small food items and a group of children.

Cups with straws

Pretend party with dolls and teddies and a tea set.

Set up a little snack and make sure someone does not have a biscuit/piece of fruit/sweet etc. Are there enough? Comment on this.

Get the child to hand out cups. Are there enough?

Get the child to hand out drinking straws are there enough?

Do a similar activity with teddies and dolls.

Lego models

Building simple models

Make a simple tower or bridge or house and ask the child to do the same.

Make sure the child has either too many or too few pieces.

Can the child comment on this?

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