Halloween Math: V is for Vampires That Count

In folklore, vampires are obsessed with counting. For some Halloween math, how about kid vampires that count? Remember, Count von Count from Sesame Street? He counted everything.

"Count von Count kneeling" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia
“Count von Count kneeling” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Perhaps, this mania for counting is why so many vampires are called Count. Whatever the play on words, counting can also be a form of play. For kids to count, they need to know more than just the names for numbers. They need to know that each time we say a number we mean one more thing. To us, this seems so obvious but it isn’t to kids. This is something they need to figure out and discover for themselves. To do this, they need countless experiences (pun intended along with a chuckle) with math and numbers.

Halloween mathDollar stores have bags of small items that are fun to count. Last year, we found some plastic leaves in orange, red, and yellow for fall. This year, we got a big of small Halloween objects like bugs and skeletons. Just setting them out was an invitation to play. Big Sister sorted them out and counted how many there were of each kind.

count-skeletonsLittle Sister copied but didn’t always get the words for the numbers in the right order. No matter, it’s all part of the learning process. While they were having fun, I occasionally asked questions like: Are there more skeletons or more spiders? If you count the skeletons and the skulls how many would there be then?

halloween one-to-one matchingBig Sister put some of the items in a pattern or sequence. She also matched one bug to one skeleton. This one-to-one correspondence or matching is another critical skill. One number matches to one thing in math. In language, when we speak and read, one word matches to one meaning.

Vampire pointy teeth are not needed for some math and number play. When counting, remember to laugh and use your funniest Count von Count voices. Isn’t this vonderful fun?

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