Friday, June 8, 2012

Teaching Skip Counting

At the beginning of the year, I started to teach Trevor to skip count.  First we did by 10's and then by 5's.  I taught him this purely by memorization.  We would skip around the room and sing a song, or repeat songs we heard on Schoolhouse Rock (multiplication rock).  I think there is great benefit to memorization, but at some point there is greater benefit in understanding why.

So, a few weeks ago, I pulled out our trusty pegs and began to show him the why of skip counting.  First I asked him to group the pegs into sets of two.  Then I told him that we would count together, except that we would take turns saying the next number in line.  He was surprised to hear me whisper when I counted my first number.  I told him that I would whisper and he would say his numbers loudly.  This is how it went.... 1....2....3....4....5....6....7....8....9....10.  We were saying all the numbers, but what does that look like to you?  Counting by twos, of course!  As you can imagine, my 3 year old boy took the opportunity to be very LOUD when saying his numbers =)

Next, I had him try it all by himself.  He would whisper one number and then say the next one loudly and repeat up to 10.  After he got the hang of that, I had him see if he could say the quite numbers only in his head (a hard concept for a little one who says everything that pops into his head =)  He did really well!  The next time we moved onto grouping and counting by 3's.

Here's Trevor doing what I just described...

(I was trying to upload a video for you to see, but I'm having issues, so I'll share a picture for now and try the video again later.)





Here's what the little one does while we work on math (LOVE these toys by Lauri, they have gotten SO much use!) ...



What are other ways what you can practice/learn skip counting?
  • Singing songs (our silly way) (Schoolhouse Rock - multiplication)
  • Throw a ball back and forth, taking turns saying numbers.  Say the unneeded numbers quietly like we did above.
  • 100 numbers chart (good visualization for children who can write their numbers, or practice for those who are learning!)

What ways do you use to teach skip counting?


Happy Skipping!

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12 comments:

  1. We have also started skip counting here too. Today we just used a 100 chart with every 5 colored in yellow. Then I just said that the frog can jump 5 here, and now he jumps 5 more to here etc... until we got to 100.

    I really like how you did the 2 skip counting. I think I will add that in. The whisper part. :o)

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    1. Well, it's gotta be fun if there's a frog, right?!?! =)

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  2. We haven't focused on skip counting yet, but Leap frog has a math video that teaches it that my daughters like to watch.

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  3. I love those little pegs. That's a fun way to work on skip counting. :)

    We've been using the skip counting charts and poems I put together: http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/2012/01/skip-counting-charts-updated/

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  4. I LOVE this idea! My 5 year old is a little stuck on 1-20. She can't seem to remember 15...EVER! We have started using sidewalk chalk outside and jumping to the numbers and it seems to be helping. Maybe skip counting where she jumps OVER the number we aren't saying??? Hmmm....

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    1. I remember my son hitting road blocks like that. First it was the number 8 I think when he was learning 1-10, then 16 for 1-20, and now he forgets 27...oh well =) With persistence they eventually get the hang of it!

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  5. I created a fun card game called Speed! that teaches skip counting. http://highhillhomeschool.blogspot.com/2011/11/speed-learn-multiplication.html

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  6. Your little one is amazing. We haven't done 3s yet. Just got done with 2s and 5s. I need to start doing more counting with objects. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We use Ray's Arithmetic and they are big about young children mastering using objects to count and solve problems before they move onto mental (memorization) math. So that's why we do it this way =) Like I said above, they definitely memorize stuff they don't understand via songs and such, but I make sure they learn it by manipulation too.

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  7. What a fun way to teach counting by 2s! Thanks for sharing on TGIF! Look forward to seeing you again later today =-)
    Beth

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