Tuesday, September 6, 2011

30 Fun Ways to Learn About Counting

In looking at the Common Core for Mathematics, I am excited about the changes for kindergarten.  I love the idea of kindergarten being the only grade level with a Counting and Cardinality Strand and this focus for kindergarten is quite different than what Ohio expected for kindergarteners previously.  Therefore, I started searching for new resources and found 30 Fun Ways to Learn About Counting by Clare Beswick in my Internet shopping cart.

As the titles suggests, there are 30 activities to promote and engage counting with children.  Here's a progression of counting I was able to "pull" out of the book's introduction.

-students match, sort, group pictures and objects
-students then count groups and attaches number words to describe quantities
-students will count one to one
-students will glance at a group and identify quantity visually
-students guess and estimate visually quantity while then counting to confirm
-students are then able to use mathematical language for comparisons

The introduction of this book is filled with wonderful tips and reminders to promote counting.  Clare provides a list of items children should use for counting while also including a list of ways students can record their counting.  Counting is most often a verbal skill but so much of our mathematical work needs to be made visible for others, I just loved this list.  I found her list of Essential Attention Grabbing and Keeping Tips helpful.  It's a great list to remind us to vary our ways grasp our students attention.

Each activity is organized with a focus.  Followed by a list vocabulary, what you need, and what you do.  However, we all know in any given classroom we will probably need ideas to take the main idea of a lesson further for some students.  Clare provides us with ideas for taking an activity further.  She also guides us with a section guiding our teaching observations for things to look, listen and note.  Helping us grow as mathematical observers.  As if we needed more, there is even a section on more ideas to vary the original idea.  This is all within a two page spread.

This book is filled with so much valuable information.  The activities are very hands on with everyday objects.  They often require movement and motion which we all know young learners appreciate.  I also found myself wanting to share with title with my special area teachers.  They are often looking for ways to collaborate and I think letting them know about the new expectations with counting could help them become more of a partner in our mathematical learning this year.  I can't wait to try everything but these are a few I will definitely get to first;  Spotted Dogs, Beat that Drum, Hip Hop Bunny Hop, and S-t-r-e-t-c-h!  I think many of the activities could become part of our morning meeting.


  1. This sounds like a great resource. I too am looking at the Common Core Standards and wondering about different ways to teach counting. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Mandy~
    I love that the new standards are taking us DEEPER! Who would have thought about an entire book on counting! I wish I was in school again, I am sure my teachers did not think like this! Keep positing your thoughts on this book, we too are working on counting in 1st grade!

  3. Mandy~
    After reading your post I grabbed my DMA book turned to counting and found a variety of ways to practice and teach counting while transitioning kids! Thanks for reminding me to think about what I ALREADY have at my finger tips! My favorite new counting game -Echo!
    T- 7,8,9,
    Teacher can of course start counting with any number to meet the needs of your class! I use this to single clean up today setting a goal of "Meet on the carpet by #_____" WORKED GREAT!!!