Number, Counting & Cardinality

# Magician’s Tricks

#### Counting From Any Number

Place number cards face down in numerical order. One child points to any card and the other child—the magician—uses their magic counting skills to figure out what number it is without turning the cards over. Then, flip the card over so children can see if they are correct. Leave the card face up so the next child counts on to find the next number. For example, if a 3 is turned over and the next facedown card that a student points to is a 4, the student can count on from 3 instead of starting at 1.

Primary Objectives

• Counting on from a number other than 1 (for example, counting on from 5 to 7)
• Counting backward from any number (for example, counting down from 8 to 6)
• Recognizing numerals

How To Use

1. First, introduce the activity to the WHOLE GROUP.
2. Then, engage children in the activity in SMALL GROUPS.
3. Once the children are very familiar with the activity, they can play it independently at CENTER TIME with slight modifications.

If most of your students aren’t yet consistently counting up to 10, you may want to instead preview the Counting From 1 of the activity.

Materials

##### Steps Of The Activity

The activity step icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children! Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Setup 1

Lay the cards face up from 1 to 10 and count how many there are in all.

Setup 2

One by one, turn each card over to the blank side, saying the number word as you turn it.

Step 1

Child 1 points to a card.

Step 2

Child 2, as the magician, counts to figure out what number is on the card.

Step 3

Child 1 turns over the card to see if Child 2 is correct. (If not, try again!) Leave the card face up.

Step 4

Children switch roles and play again (leaving all faceup cards from the previous turns as they are).
##### Teacher’s Guide

Instructions for introducing the activity to the Whole Group

For quick reference, here is a summary of all the available adaptations to make Magician’s Tricks easier or harder to accommodate the needs of your students. Whether the adaptation is easier or harder depends on each student’s math or EF skills.

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories
• Counting level
##### What to do next

Are some students ready for more challenge? Try the adaptations provided for Small Group

If some of your students are not yet consistently counting up to 10, they might benefit more from playing Counting From 1.

Materials

##### Steps Of The Activity

For small groups, we suggest four children arranged in pairs of two play the game with a teacher present to provide guidance.

The activity step icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps They’re also a helpful scaffold for children! Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Setup 1

Lay the cards faceup from 1 to 10 and count how many there are in all.

Setup 2

One by one, turn each card over to the blank side, saying the number word as you turn it.

Step 1

Child 1 points to a card.

Step 2

Child 2, as the magician, counts to figure out what number is on the card.

Step 3

Child 1 turns over the card to see if Child 2 is correct. (If not, try again!) Leave the card face up.

Step 4

Children switch roles and play again (leaving all faceup cards from the previous turns as they are).
##### Teacher’s Guide

Instructions for introducing the activity to Small Groups and preparing to play in pairs of two

For quick reference, here is a summary of all the available adaptations to make Magician’s Tricks easier or harder to accommodate the needs of your students. Whether the adaptation is easier or harder depends on each student’s math or EF skills.

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories
• Counting level
##### What to do next

Did some students need more support or more challenge? Don’t forget to try out some of the adaptations provided for Center. Continue working in small groups with teacher support until students can comfortably play with minimal teacher guidance. Then have students practice the activity independently in Center

Did some of your students play Counting From 1 in a Small Group? Then they should also play that version during Center Time.

Materials

Teacher Resources

##### Steps Of The Activity

The activity step icons below outline the steps of the activity. Print these icons as cards and share them to help children remember the steps. They’re also a helpful scaffold for children! Find a sample script for teachers to use here.

Setup 1

Lay the cards face up from 1 to 10 and count how many there are in all.

Setup 2

One by one, turn each card over to the blank side, saying the number word as you turn it.

Step 1

Child 1 points to a card.

Step 2

Child 2, as the magician, counts to figure out what number is on the card.

Step 3

Child 1 turns over the card to see if Child 2 is correct. (if not, try again!) Leave the card face up.

Step 4

Children switch roles and play again (leaving all faceup cards from the previous turns as they are).
##### Instructions

Instructions for using this activity in independent Center Time

 Review The Activity Today, the Magician’s Tricks game we’ve been playing together will be at [name] Center! On the day you will be adding Magician’s Tricks to Centers, let children know during Whole Group (or whatever time you give your Centers overview for the day) that the activity will be in Centers to play on their own. Ensure that all children have played the activity in Small Groups before introducing it in Centers. Adjust The Challenge MAKE IT EASIER Math: For children still learning the names of numerals or what quantity each numeral refers to, use the counting cards, which have numerals and dots. Math & EF: Use fewer cards (for example, only 1 to 5). Math & EF: If children need help remembering to start counting at the far left, use a dry erase marker to draw an arrow pointing to the right on the first card in the sequence. MAKE IT HARDER Math: For children still learning the names of numerals or what quantity each numeral refers to, use the numeral cards, which have numerals only. Math & EF: Use more cards (for example, up to 10 or 20). You will have the cards to help you remember how to play and to remind you whether you are the magician or the pointer. If helpful, show the activity materials to help remind children of the activity. Time To Play! Let’s remind ourselves how to play the game! Adjust The Challenge MAKE IT EASIER  EF: Re-introduce the activity to children once they are in centers just as you did for Small Group, using the activity step icon cards and the role cards. MAKE IT HARDER EF: Omit the activity step icon cards and the role cards.

For quick reference, here is a summary of all the available adaptations to make Magician’s Tricks easier or harder to accommodate the needs of your students. Whether the adaptation is easier or harder depends on each student’s math or EF skills.

Explore The Executive Function And Math Skills In This Activity

Math Learning Trajectories
• Counting Level
##### What to do next

Keep playing this activity in Centers throughout the year. Do some students need more support or more challenge? Try the adaptations provided for Centers [LINK].

top