My favorite part of our math curriculum is Mr. Mix-Up, a lovable moose puppet who is always mixed up. The kids giggle as soon as he comes out, because they know he will make a very silly mistake and they will get to correct him. For example, when counting Mr. Mix-Up often says 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 and the kids go wild. He also has trouble with his shapes, patterns, colors, counting manipulatives... you name it! I love this activity because it helps the children see common mistakes and enhances metacognition in a way that is fun and meaningful.
A few weeks ago we went on a great field trip to the Museum of Science. In the "New England Habitats" wing, they were delighted to see an enormous stuffed moose on display. "MS. P, COME QUICK!" they yelled. "WE FOUND MR. MIX-UP's DADDY!" How cute is that? Now, every time Mr. Mix-Up comes out during math, they ask him how often he gets to visit his Dad at the museum, and if Daddy Moose could ever come visit the classroom.