Early Math: Counting

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Counting I

This is one of a series of Early Math lessons using the Miquon Math series of books. The focus of this lesson is on counting. The lessons consists of a series of early math counting activities to choose from followed by the related pages in the Miquon Math book. Other counting activities are in the next lesson, Counting II.

Activity: Discuss the history of numbers.   Kids often feel empowered and smart when they learn that people didn’t always know as much math as they now know.  Below are two resources:

Activity: Kids count up to 100 and move while watching this Macarena Counting video.  The video is about 2 1/2 minutes long.  the kids might like to watch this several times to get the moves right.

Activity: Discuss tally marks and give examples.  For many kids, tally marks look like another language.  One reference is Usborne First Illustrated Math Dictionary p10, 11, 13.  Show kids small amounts (less than 10) of Cuisenaire rods and ask them to write tally marks for the number of rods.  Other objects will work as well as the rods.

Activity: Discuss other numbering systems.  Kids love to see that there are other ways of counting that seemed obvious to other cultures.  They might like to see how high they can count by counting on their body like other cultures did — not just on their fingers.  Here are some references on other counting systems

Note: There are many books references in this lesson.  I don’t necessarily recommend buying them.  All of these books were found at my local library.  Please feel free to substitute with other resources that you may have on hand.

Bookwork: Miquon Math Orange Book,

  • Tallies and Numbers A1-A3a. For each box, put tallies for the number of shapes in the box.
  • Counting the Shapes. A4-A5. Count the shapes and put the number of shapes in the box.  Or draw the same number of shapes as the number in the box.
  • Shape Sequences A7. Color in the dots for the first sequence that counts from 1 to 4.  For the second sequence, draw in the x’s so that the sequence is 2,3,4,5 x’s.  for the third sequence, draw boxes – how many boxes does the sequence start with if there are 5 in the second box?    The fourth sequence is triangles ending with four triangles.  The kids count backwards to see that the first box is blank – 0 triangles.
  • Shape Sequences A8. Like A7, there are four number sequences.  The first one is 3,4,5,6.  The kids write in the 6 and color in 5 shapes for the 5.  The second sequence starts with 0 and should be 0,1, and what comes next in counting? 2, 3.  For the third and fourth sequences, the child counts backwards from the ending number.  What comes before 8?  7 goes in the box before it.
  • Dot-to-dots. A9-A10.