Numbers 1024r

Playing Osmo Numbers with Red / Yellow Counters – Part 1

Created by Osmo and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


K / 1st


Individual station, Groups of 2–3, or whole class using projector


Osmo base + Red/Yellow counters + Osmo Numbers App + iPad 2 or higher


This lesson coincides with these levels of Numbers game: Goldfish Gulf, Boxy Beach, and Rainbow Reef. This series of COUNTING activities in Numbers for Osmo give children rich experiences with numbers and number concepts through 19 in a game setting. As children build numbers using referent numbers, they find various ways to represent the numbers and develop strong number sense skills.


K.CC.2, K.CC.4, K.CC.5, K.OA.5, K.NBT.1, 1.OA.3, 1.OA.4, 1.OA.5, 1.OA.6, 1.NBT.2b

Mathematical Practices:

MP.1, MP.2, MP.4, MP.5, MP.7


  1. Setup Osmo station(s) and introduce the counter tiles to students: a red counter represents the number 5 and a yellow counter represents 1.
  2. Open the Numbers app and go to the settings menu.
  3. Click on the gear icon in the upper left of the game screen. Make sure ‘Extra input’ at the bottom is enabled.
  4. Go to the Main Menu and locate the COUNT section.
  5. Select the first level: Goldfish Gulf
  6. Using the counters, children will create the numbers 1 through 6 that they see in the bubbles closest to the water on the screen.
  7. As students build Numbers correctly, the bubbles will pop and they will earn achievements and move to other levels with greater numbers. As an aide, they will get real-time feedback about their work at the bottom of the screen.
  8. While the children are playing the game, discuss the strategies they use to make decisions. Promote discussion by asking, “Why did you build the number using those counters?” of “If you had built the number in a different way would your score be better or not? How do you know?”