Using Angry Birds to help with counting

Lesson objective: Year 3 – Count on in steps of 3, 4 or 5 to at least 50, from any small number to at least 50, then back again.

In Mrs Smithson’s maths group the children are continuing to work to learn their 3 times tables and being able to count on and back in steps of 3. To help practice this more they used the popular game Angry Birds in today’s numeracy lesson. We started by looking at a 100 square and looking at the patterns for adding three. We firstly counted the multiples of three to help with their times tables, we also looked at adding three from any number. After spending some time working on the hundred square we then applied this into a game.

The activity worked like so:

Setup – Groups of 4/5 with whiteboards and 1 iPad on the table.

  • Child A plays the level of Angry Birds to the rest of the group.
  • The group uses her score to generate a number by adding the digits:2013-01-16 16.08.14
  • Using that number the children go round the table and add 3 so Child 2 says 23, Child 3 – 26, Child 4 – 29 etc. The counting stops when someone lands on a multiple of ten. Whoever lands on the multiple of ten wins a point. That child then plays the next level to generate the next number. The game continues until a player gets five points.

The award of playing the next level has the children hooked, the game moves quickly as children are eager to be the next person to have a go. I was introduced to this sort of game using dice however Angry Birds has the class completely engrossed, each level lasts no more than 15 seconds so most of the lesson was spent adding and counting. Not only were children counting in threes, they were adding several small numbers and recognising multiples of ten. It was a super lesson that can be adapted for older of younger children, counting forward or back in bigger steps for example. To help with some of the less confident they could refer back to the hundred square to help. It was another great example of how focused the children are using some of the popular iPad games as a focus.