Recycled material provokes Mathematical thinking

We are curious about recycled bottle caps and how they might interest children.  What will the children want to do with the materials?  How will they translate their thinking? We add the materials to the cube in our classroom for the children to begin their encounters with this new material.

As the explorations began the children were naturally drawn to stacking the caps one on top of the other.  Little hands and tiny fingers enjoy the encounter with this material.  Some are small, some are large and some are teeny tiny. LR


T could build a tower of 5 most times and would get to 6 and it would fall.


T decides that he is going to sort the caps by colour because he just couldn’t get the caps to stay stacked on top of one another.


T is working very hard sorting all of the caps. He is challenged to count how many there are of each colour.  T then finds the number chart and places the corresponding number to the amount of caps that he counts.


T counts and finds that there are 71 red caps.

T counts 14 orange and 22 blue and 29 green.  “there are more than the orange and the blue.” T then looks to the red caps, the ones that he is going to sort next.  “the red ones are way more, there are 100.” T continues his sorting and sorts the black caps and counts 19. “its less than all of them.”


“71 is bigger, its awesome. Black is more and orange is less. The green is more than the grey.  Brown has to be beside the pink because there’s only 1. Red caps are more and white caps are less. 1 is the smallest number and 71 is the largest number.” T.

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