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Teaching Counting and Skip Counting

Posted by homeschoolmentormom on March 18, 2010

        Have you discovered 100 Charts yet?  If you have a Kindergartener or a First grader, a 100 chart is a wonderful resource…and they’re free!   Once you decide your child is ready, and once your child can count to ten forwards and backwards, here is what to do: 

~Make several copies of a 100 chart (you’ll need at least 3.)  We slipped ours into page protectors, and put them into binders.

~Start with simple counting.  Count slowly, pointing to the numbers as you go.  Later, let your child do the pointing (this teaches counting and number recognition.)  Start by counting up to ten, forwards and backwards.  We always counted backwards as if we were counting down to a shuttle mission, shouting, “Blast-off!” and lifting our hands up in the air after we got down to one. 

~Next, count to twenty forwards and backwards, then to twenty-five.  Keep going from there!

~Once your child can count to twenty-five, move to the next step:  Skip counting.  I used another 100 chart for this:  I highlighted all the 10’s:  10, 20, 30…..then, we’d practice counting by ten’s while pointing to the numbers. 

~Once 10’s are mastered, highlight the 5’s in another color on the same chart and count by 5’s (5, 10, 15, 20, 25…)

~Once 5’s are mastered, use a new chart and highlight the numbers for counting by two’s; count by 2’s. 

~Be sure to play games (count your moves) and use real objects to count.  This will help make numbers real to your children.  

         Here is the nicest one chart I’ve found for beginners, just for teaching simple counting; it’s in full color: http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/paper/hundredschart1-color.pdf

         Here is a link to a chart for teaching skip counting; just highlight the numbers your child is learning: http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/paper/hundredschart1.pdf  

         You can find several different ideas for using 100 charts, and blank charts/charts with missing numbers to fill in (I’d save this for first grade or later) at Donna Young’s site.  http://donnayoung.org/math/100-number.htm .

*Be sure and wait for readiness.  Have fun with this!  It doesn’t take any longer than a minute or two to practice counting everyday.  You’ll be amazed at how fast your children will learn!


© 2010 Susan Lemons all rights reserved.


3 Responses to “Teaching Counting and Skip Counting”

  1. faerieshadow said

    Great resource, thank you! I’m going to try using the 100’s chart.

  2. In principle this sounds great. One problem I believe that everyone falls into is the “charts” thing. Charts are counter-productive. They are one of the biggest reasons children come to believe that math is from “out there” – that it is based on some external rules, when it is really based on reasoning and logic that stems from our human minds.

    It’s a bigger problem than most people realize. A way to get around this is to only use charts that the child him or herself has constructed. Better than charts is to use objects, like counting pennies or playing cards.

    In another post of yours you recently had some homeschooling suggestions that mention “Let the children teach themselves as much as they are able to.” Skip counting with objects, like fingers, etc, rather than charts is exactly in this spirit.

    By the way, the recent post where I quoted you from is really excellent. Keep up the great work,

    Brian (a.k.a. Professor Homunculus at MathMojo.com )

    • Thank-you for your comment, your compliment, and your concern about the charts. I suppose I should have prefaced the post with my philosophy about math: It does need to be hands-on during the early years. We don’t start any formal math curriculum until the middle of Kindergarten at the eariiest. Until then, we learn using real objects, games, dominoes, scales, and so on. The concrete learning doesn’t stop once we start using a formal program, either; I always supplement our math programs with real objects such as counters, Miquon Rods, etc (usually through the Third grade or later) depending on the child. Perhaps the hands-on activities help them grasp the chart. We’re on our fourth child using this method, and it seems to work for us.
      I have visual learners, and the chart seems to help them visualize the concept of skip-counting. But I love your idea about making the chart using real objects–this could help children grasp the concepts even better.

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