Activity spotlight -Bubble Blowing

Purpose of this episode

Count up to 5 dynamic objects by 1 and 2.


Pop is blowing bubbles. Children are asked to count how many bubbles she blows. Sometimes she blows more than one at a time. Sometimes she blows, but no bubble emerges. Children need to pay attention to count all the bubbles.


Watch video walkthrough -

Mathematical Background

As adults, we likely can’t recall the experience of learning how to count. It’s one of the most basic skills we possess, perhaps so basic that it is hard to imagine counting being taught to children like other skills-steps through which children gradually progress in levels of difficulty, subtlety, and complexity. Yet, the truth is that learning to count is a process of many stages. Children learn to recite the names of numbers in a one-to-one correspondence to concrete objects. They discover that the arrangements of the objects don’t affect the number. They develop the ability to use their memory to count dynamic objects or very large sets. Counting is also the foundation upon which the abstract notion of a number is laid. By counting, we first observe what 5 apples and 5 cars have in common. By counting, we discover that the number of objects in the two groups together does not depend on what objects each group comprises. In a sense, mathematics as a whole is built upon a skill that we usually just take for granted - counting.

What makes it great?

The environment provides an enticing backdrop for young children.

The park and the eye-catching artwork provide a natural setting for young children to explore and stretch their abilities with counting. Helping Pop with an activity so relevant to children’s own experience arouses curiosity and encourages perseverance. And as one of several settings we offer for such exploration and skill development, every child can follow their own journey, returning as they wish to the setting most relevant to them.

The questions lead children through a process.

As part of a group of episodes that provide a progression from concrete to abstract understanding of counting, this episode provides a concrete setting for achieving conceptual understanding of counting. Within the episode itself, we exploit technology to achieve inherent engagement with the task of counting bubbles before they fly away. The questions progress from counting one bubble at a time to counting two at a time, and eventually to differentiating between successful and unsuccessful blows. Children develop critical thinking as they differentiate between what should be counted and what should not.
The wrong answer feedback associates bubbles to numbers.

When children answer incorrectly, they are given the chance to watch again before they answer, encouraging accountability. If on the third try they don’t answer correctly, the effective and informative feedback overlays the animation with the counting numbers, connecting the concrete object with the number.

Consonance with Our Pedagogical Principles


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