You probably don't realize how much math you can do with animal ears, tails, paws, noses, eyes, and horns. With my K-1 kids, I handed out scratch paper with directions like, "3 cats. How many ears," and "11 cats. How many ears?" This is one of those differentiated activities for all math abilities. The kids liked drawing the cats and enthusiastically counted all those ears. The information was shared out and recorded on a T-graph. All went pretty well until I got to Colby, who had been assigned to draw 7 cats.
"How many cats did you have, Colby?" I asked. "SEVEN!" he replied dutifully.
"Okay. Then how many ears do you count with 7 cats?" "THIRTEEN!" he yelled out.
"Thirteen ears? Really, Colby? Check again," I prompted.
"I did," he said.
"There are seven cats. But the last cat only has one ear."
(Thirteen it is.)