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what to look for
• Children will use the goldfish crackers to
act out the story.

• Some children will only respond to one
mathematical operation if there are two
questions. • Children will add and subtract fish as they
model the story.

• Some children will extend the story or
make up their own stories.

• Some children will decide what to do by
watching other children.

ModifiCationS for SPECial
nEEdS or SituationS
Start with fewer crackers (two or three) and
simplify the directions for children who are
younger or less advanced. Use more goldfish
with children who are more experienced with
quantification. In kindergarten, teachers can
create stories that emphasize particular num-
ber combinations children may be working on.

MathEMatiCS ContEnt
Standard ConnECtionS
Because the emphasis in this activity is on
modeling mathematical problems, it aligns
with the Algebra standard. It connects equally
well to Number and Operations with its
emphasis on quantification, addition, and
subtraction. CoMMEntS and QuEStionS
rEl atEd to MathEMatiCS
ProCESS StandardS
Problem Solving: Each question in the story
emphasizes problem solving.

Reasoning and Proof: How did you figure out
how many fish would be left?
Communication: Tell Christina why you
think she should have five fish now instead
of four.

Connections: Is there a way to make a pattern
with the fish? (Connects to Algebra)
Representation: Can you draw a picture of
this story?
understanding and applying mathematics standards for young children
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aCtivity 1.4
Music Area
Wood Block Sound Patterns
dESCriPtion Music is one of the first activities through
which children begin to perceive, imitate,
and create patterns. Clapping patterns and
repeating melodies in songs are examples.

This activity allows children to experiment
with two hollow wood blocks that are identi-
cal except in size and, therefore, pitch. As
children quickly discover, the larger wood
block has a lower sound than the smaller
wood block. Children often create alternating
high-low patterns with the wood blocks.

MatErialS 2 wood blocks that differ in size, commer-
cially available or constructed as follows:
1. From a piece of wood approximately 3½
inches wide and 1½ inches thick (com-
monly called a “two by four”), cut two
lengths of wood, one 5 inches long and
the other 3 inches long, to form the base
of each wood block.

2. From a piece of wood approximately 3½
inches wide and 3/4 inches thick (com-
monly called a “one by four”), cut two
lengths of wood, one 5 inches long and
the other 3 inches long, to form the top of
each wood block.

3. From a strip of wood approximately ½
inch wide and 1/4 inch thick, cut 6 strips
of wood to fit evenly along three edges of
each of the 2 wood block bases.

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chapter 1
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