Year 1

FREE Key Stage 1 / KS1 maths resources

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We can estimate the number in a group of up to 20 objects.
We can check the number by counting.

Year 1 Unit 9

What we are learning:

  • ‘Estimating’ is making an informed guess.
  • Estimating is a valuable skill, make it fun. Make ‘wild’ guesses yourself to encourage your child to think about and make ‘better’ guesses.
  • To be able to estimate your child needs to have had lots of experience at counting groups of different sizes. They need to be able to recognize patterns of numbers without counting (for example what six, five, four and three look like on a dice or domino).
  • Ask your child to tell you what it can’t be and to justify why the number they suggest is either too large or too small.

Activities you can do at home:

Put a group of objects out and ask, How many do you think there are? or Guess how many there are. Check by counting together. If the estimate was not exactly correct the child did not get it ‘wrong’. The aim is to develop the accuracy of estimating over time, not to get it precise.

Rearrange the objects and ask the same question, How many do you think there are now? At some stages children will recount the same set of objects because you have moved them. If they do, let them do this and then explore the following questions, Did we have to count them again?
Did we take any away or add any? If we have not changed the number, will it be the same as when we counted them the first time?

Children come to realise that they don’t need to recount them if nothing has been added or subtracted, but this may take some time!

Estimate a number of objects. Rearrange the objects into groups of five (in a recognizable pattern of five – as on a domino or dice) and decide if your estimate is good or estimate again.

Estimate numbers when you are out shopping e.g. the number of carrots in a bag.

Good questions to ask:

Can you estimate how many apples there are in this bowl/potatoes in this bag?
How can you check your estimate?
Can you guess how many….?
How many do you think there are…..?
Roughly how many are there……?
How many could there be in……?

If your child:

Tries to count objects rather than making an estimate
Show them the objects briefly and then cover them up so that they don’t have time to count them
Thinks that their estimate is ‘wrong’ when it is not precise
Reassure them that the purpose of estimating is not to get exactly the ‘right’ answer but to be close

Extension Activity

Please use this activity when you think your child understands the unit of work. It will deepen and extend your child’s understanding of this unit.


Extension activity (PDF)