Ready for a pizza party??? This is Laura from Differentiation Station Creations.
Pizza is a favorite food in our house, so it was natural that I would try and build some learning games centered around it! I love to create with my hands and I've passed this trait along to my children. We decided that we would build a magnetic pizza to use for dramatic play. As we were creating, I couldn't help but think how GREAT this would be for subitizing!
If you haven't heard of subitizing before, it is the ability to instantly identify a number of objects. There is perceptual and conceptual subitizing. I found a wonderful article by Douglas H. Clements that explains the concepts more fully. Click here to read, "Subitizing: What Is It? Why Teach It?"
The gist is that perceptual subitizing is the ability to recognize an amount of objects immediately. Conceptual subitizing involves more complex thinking. People are able to use patterns and parts to come up with a number.
Here is an example using the pizza manipulative. After looking at the pizza in the picture. My daughter (4 years old) is immediately able to tell me that there are two toppings on the pizza. She used perceptual subitizing to identify the amount of 2.
When we add more toppings, the subitizing becomes more difficult. Here she used conceptual subitzing to identify the total number of toppings on the pizza. She grouped the toppings by type. 2 pepperoni and 3 mushrooms. She then held up her fingers and added them together. By grouping the two types of toppings, she was able to easily "find" the number. It created two small groups, instead of requiring her to count every topping.
These are techniques that are easy for kids to practice and will help them build strong number sense.
You can create your own magnetic pizza manipulative to use with your students. I created two different types of pizza manipulatives to use. Pick whichever pizza you are comfortable creating.
Version #1- The pizza is painted directly on the pizza sheet from the dollar store.
- Round metal pizza pan from the dollar store
- Spray paint (I used Krylon Paint + Primer) You need this to stick to the metal, so you can paint on top of the pizza pan.
- Acrylic Paint (I used Butter, Tuscan Red, and Golden Brown)
- Paint Brush
- Magnetic Tape for the back of the toppings
This pizza was very easy to create!
1. Spray paint your pizza pan with white spray paint. Spray paint the whole pan.
2. Paint the crust after this dries. Take the light brown paint and paint a brown circle.
3. After the crust dries, you will take the red paint and paint the sauce inside the brown circle.
4. After the sauce dries, you will paint the whole inside of the pizza yellow. This is the cheese.
You are done! You can paint a varnish or some type of sealant over the finished product. It will help the paint last longer.
Version #2- You will need rectangular, metal cookie sheet from the dollar store and a pizza template.
- Rectangular, metal cookie sheet from the dollar store
- Pizza dough template (you can get mine here)
- Magnetic tape for the back of the toppings
Version #2 is even easier.
1. Print out a pizza dough template. You can get mine in the Pizza Pack here.
2. Laminate for durability and tape to the cookie sheet.
You are done! Print or cut out toppings and your pizza is ready to go!
You can use this pizza manipulative during your calendar time, as part of a warm-up, a mini lesson, as a partner game, or any spare time that you have during the day. You can flash the pizza while students are lining up, while waiting for specials, or any transition time. It keeps students engaged and learning during often "wasted" time.
I put the toppings in small containers, but you could use plastic baggies and Velcro them to the back of the pizza pan. This will make the whole thing portable.
You will choose the topping that you would like to use. I usually do no more than 5 of one type of topping. Place the toppings on the pizza. You will want to group the like toppings together. This will allow students to group and identify the toppings more easily.
Flash the pizza quickly and have students identify the number of toppings that they saw.
You can have students show their answers in a variety of ways:
- Hold up fingers to how many toppings.
- Verbally say how many toppings they saw.
- Draw the toppings on the extension worksheets. There are worksheets with large pizzas that take up the whole page and worksheets with multiple pizzas on the same page.
You can also use this manipulative as a partner game. It's a great center game. Students will play this the same way as in a teacher directed game. One partner will flash the toppings (I might set the limit of 5-10 toppings). The other partner will express their answer verbally or on a recording sheet.
Use the whole page recording sheet or multiple pizza worksheets (laminate or place in a sheet protector for use with a dry erase marker).
There are also extension sheets to create their own pizza and record the total number of each topping.
There are also extension sheets called "Roll & Create". Students will roll the die and record the same number of toppings on the line. Draw the matching toppings on the pizza. Record the total number of toppings on the sentence.
And extension worksheets to identify a numeral and draw the matching number of toppings on the pizza dough.
Use this manipulative as part of a role playing game. One student can call on a phone (use a real phone for more fun!) and the other will "answer" a phone at the pizza shop. This is a great way to teach phone etiquette and personal social skills (emphasize greeting and polite conversational skills).
There are so many fun ways to use this manipulative to excite and engage your students. For more subitizing ideas click here.
Thanks so much for joining me! I hope you find lots of uses for this pizza manipulative!! Check out this post on my blog to get directions for Brick Pizza Oven made out of a box!