Count with me! Numbers are such an important part of learning and growing. Small kids are proud of how “many” they are. “I’m almost this many!” And, older kids are proud of how high they can count. «Ya puedo contar hasta cien». This numbers fishbowl, or pecera de números, is designed to start beginning learners on the path of learning basic Spanish numbers and then help them graduate to simple addition and subtraction in Spanish. We call it the Grow-With-Me Fishbowl.
For beginning learners, you may decide to just focus on Spanish numbers vocabulary. However, as this download is designed to grow with the learner, addition and subtraction vocabulary, as well as some basic words, can be added as desired. The target vocabulary is:
- 1-20 (numerals)
- es igual a
- pecera (de números)
- Spanish Numbers: uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez, once, doce, trece, catorce, quince, dieciséis, diecisiete, dieciocho, diecinueve, veinte
You’ll find two options to download: a black-and-white version and a color version. Each version contains the same fourteen pages.
Consider the black-and-white version if you prefer economy printing or to allow students to color or color-code their lessons. The black-and-white version is also smaller and requires less download bandwith.
While there are no directions, there is one page of in-Spanish examples so that nearly any teacher, substitute, or parent can feel confident in helping students, even without a Spanish background.
Ideas for Use
You’ll find a page of ideas included in the download, but there are many additional ideas, as well. Below we’ll outline the three levels of learning that most students would use as they grow with the numbers fishbowl.
Learn or Review Spanish Numbers
Manipulating objects can help learners both contextualize and memorize numbers, especially in a target language. With this download, students have several options for putting fish in a fishbowl as they count in Spanish. Consider cutting out:
- Enough fish for each fishbowl, which is 55 for the 0-10 fishbowls
- Ten or twenty fish for the number of fish in the largest fishbowl, depending upon the instructor’s preferences
- Rows of fish to save time, as in the below picture
Basic Addition and Subtraction with Numerals or Words
In some cases, students may need to switch to numerals to get a grasp of the basic concepts of addition and subtraction before adding words. This download includes numeral and word-based blocks to manipulate, allowing the teacher or parent to decide what each student is ready to tackle and how.
The packet also includes two types of learning boards: an all-in-one board, as in the first example below, and three blank boards that can be used separately with the basic math signs in between each board, as in the second example. Different learners will favor one or the other option, depending upon their learning styles and preferences and how they conceptualize grouping.
Next-Level Addition and Subtraction
Learning to count in another language is fun, and so is basic math. The more students use the language, the more they retain. So, when students are ready, simply add basic vocabulary to the work they are already doing, and watch them produce math equations like a pro. Below are the most common ways to perform addition and subtraction out-loud in Spanish. Click on each of the following links for pronunciation help:
- es igual a (three separate words/links)
- son (in this context, “son” is a conjugated form of the verb ser, not “sound”)
Tips and Tricks
There are lots of ways to manipulate each pecera de números so that it lasts long enough to truly grow with your student(s). While lamination is an obvious option, you can also use clear sheet protectors (the kind that go in binders) or even quart or gallon-sized kitchen/food bags. Any of these three options will allow you to also use dry-erase markers instead of the included paper manipulation blocks. Or, learners can even draw fishbowl “creatures” and write numerals and words instead of using the fish included in the download.
Most learners will enjoy coloring the black-and-white versions of the fish and fishbowls, but another fun idea is to use Goldfish® crackers instead of the included fish. This is sure to keep young learners occupied for at least a few minutes.
When learners are ready to move to more complex numbers, they may enjoy our free Spanish numbers mazes.
Have a fantastic idea to share? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!