Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Grab the Apple - Number Sequence Game

Hi friends. This post is VERY late. Thanks so much for your patience! 

I want to share with you, another 'peek at a week' of small group activities for the 'number' strand of mathematics. This week, week 4 in my plans, has a focus on 'number sequences'.

This week, you will want to see the students being able to put numerals into the order that we count them. They should also be able to say the number word when they see the numeral (so reinforcing the work on 'numeral identification' from Week 1). 

There is no work on understanding what the numerals mean, we just want to focus on getting them in order and 'counting' (verbalising). A key skill to focus on is also having the students be able to start at ANY number and be able to continue counting. So, for example, they could count 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - not necessarily starting from 1. 

I would have the students work on groups of numbers at a time - 0-10, then 10-20 and 20-30. You may find you need to make even more groups to accommodate all your learners.

I also start with the Forward Number Sequence (FNS) within each group, before learning the Backward Number Sequence in each group. 

Here is a little, easy to prepare game to play with ANY set of numbers. It is called 'Grab the Apple'.
Make a set that suits your class. I made these ones to play with a group working on 10-20, but you could make one more challenging with numbers 35-45 for example. 

You need a set of popsicle sticks (I used 10, but you can use any number) of a different color for each students. In this example, I have 3 students playing, so have 3 sets of sticks - red, yellow and green. They have been numbered on one end, with numerals 10-20 with a fine point Sharpie. 

To play, mix them up and put them in the middle of a group of students with a plastic apple. 

At 'go' the students grab the sticks of their designated colour. 

They quickly flip and rotate the sticks so that they can see the numerals lined up.

They then work to put these numbers in counting order. The first student to do this, can 'Grab the Apple' and scores one point if he/she can also verbalise the counting sequence as well. 

Students then mix the sticks again and prepare for a new game. The first student to 5 points is the grand winner. 

This game is on my plans for this week, along with 'Number Snake'. In each group, the activity is differentiated to cater for the needs of each group. 

Download my plans, in Powerpoint format, from Google Drive HERE

In Number Snake, students work to put together a snake, by ordering the numbers in either forward or backward sequence. 

I just listed this resource at TpT, and it is on sale for the next few days. I would love to send a FREE copy to the first 5 people that comment on this post. If you don't want to leave your email, you can leave a comment, and then email me at

Thanks so much for stopping by, and please find more plans over at Mrs Wills' blog! 


Kasey said...

Oh my goodness, that Number Snake looks like something I could REALLY use in my classroom. VA SOL requires backward number sequence from 30 for firsties, and most resources I've found have only been from 20. My email is Can't wait to use both games!!!

Stefanie Galvin said...

The number snakes are really cute! Some of my kiddos are still working on ordering numbers so this would be perfect!

Miss Galvin Learns

Suzanne Webb-Brikas said...

I love these activities. I don't have colored Popsicle sticks, so I was thinking of either putting colored sticker dots on the sticks, or wrapping the ends with colored duct tape. The snake puzzle would be a wonderful (and quiet) activity to reinforce their counting.
Thanks for sharing!


Indiana said...

Love the apple game! I am always buying those sticks when I see them as I find they disappear out of the shops from time to time.
That is one good looking plastic apple too.
Cute snake as well.

Brielle said...

Fabulous! WOW

Brielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sage Othams said...

Great idea! Also good to see how you do your planning. Thanks

Sandy Welch said...

Drat! Just missed! Everything looks adorable> I'll be heading over to TPT for sure!

TheElementary MathManiac said...

Love how easy this activity is to differentiate.

The Math Maniac

Gayla Lloyd said...

I would love a copy. Email me at

Amanda said...

I love the apple popsicle stick game! So fun!! And I love your weekly group plans. Thanks for sharing them!!

First Grade Garden

Rikki said...

I love both your ideas. We just started this very thing in my class and you just gave me a weekend project. I love both activities.
The Hive

Yenni Wati said...

O, what a lovely game (Grab the Apple). I will apply this in my class. Thank you for sharing your idea.