World Book Day: Penguins Part 3. We have a number mad 3 year old, who enjoys teaching his big brother his many random mathematical discoveries, so I jump on any chance to reverse this and let Ioan teach Finn something he has learnt at school. Here he proudly taught him about number lines.


  • Number lines
  • Penguin Figures
  • Penguin counting strips
  • Wooden numbers
  • Whiteboard and pens


As a quick warm-up, the boys matched the wooden numbers to the penguin strips.

Then Finn excitedly asked Ioan what number lines are. Ioan proudly gave his explanation, and corrected Finn when he started missing numbers out.

They wrote their sums independently on their whiteboards, then checked their answers using the number lines.

Ioan checked his sum 5+7 by jumping his penguin up the number line.

In the following video, Finn checked out his answer of 10, when adding 6+4.

Afterwards, Ioan wanted to move on to subtraction. He checked his answer for 14-7. I love his expression (and cheering fist!) at the end of the video. I really enjoyed seeing Ioan’s pride in his work, we don’t often get to see this in numeracy as Finn’s quick mental addition means he can often get to the answer before any of us.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 01 – Listening and attention:

Children listen attentively in a range of situations.They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

ELG 02 – Understanding:

Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

ELG 03 – Speaking:

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Personal, social and emotional development

ELG 06 – Self-confidence and self-awareness:

Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

ELG 08 – Making relationships:

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

DfES National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 1 programme of study

Number – number and place value

  • given a number, identify 1 more and 1 less
  • identify and represent numbers using objects and pictorial representations including the number line, and use the language of: equal to, more than, less than (fewer), most, least

Number – addition and subtraction

  • read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (−) and equals (=) signs
  • represent and use number bonds and related subtraction facts within 20
  • add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including 0