Maths box: One, Two, Three, Oops!

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By Mercia Leenumeracy consultant at Worcestershire County Council

Develop counting and thinking skills with the help of a humorous picture book

One two three...oops!

If you aren’t yet familiar with the delightful book, One, Two, Three, Oops! by Michael Coleman and Gwyneth Williamson (Little Tiger Press, ISBN 1-854-304-712), then get hold of a copy as soon as you can! It is full of potential for supporting the development of counting, thinking skills and problem solving. When I discovered it about a year ago, I immediately started to get a box together, and it quickly became a favourite.

The story describes Mr Rabbit’s attempts to count all the babies in his ‘very, very big family’. He ignores Mrs Rabbit’s suggestion that he waits until later to count them. ‘No,’ said Mr Rabbit fi rmly. ‘I’ll do it now.’ He attempts to count his very active babies, but loses track of which ones he has counted – ‘One, two, three – oops!’ Each time he counts he gets a little further, ‘One, two, three, four – oops!’ He gets frustrated and angry, and has to think hard to come up with strategies to help him keep track of his counting. There’s always something happening to disrupt him. Eventually, he stomps back inside, just as his exhausted offspring fall asleep. ‘I told you to wait till later,’ said Mrs Rabbit. ‘Now try counting them.’ He successfully counts the ten babies only to be reminded that there’s a room full of the ‘littlest ones’ still to be counted!

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