Let's Count! (Teachers' Page)

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Level of activities:
Pre-K - First grade

Materials:
Computers with Internet access or print outs of activities

Strategies:
The "Let's Count" activities are colorful and busy. (Sometimes too busy for adults, but children are drawn to them.) The activities can be done either on computers with Internet access (optimally), or they can be printed out and used as a paper and pencil exercise. There is a Spanish version ¡Vamos a contar! of all the Let's Count activities.

Answers are hidden under a tab so that students can easily check their answers. An effective model is for pairs of students to work together at the computer counting to each other. Reading has been kept to a minimum, although some assistance may be required in an introduction to the activities. Pictures of familiar objects in the activities simulate materials with which students are familiar. (Animals, toys, hearts, stars, etc.) Teachers should model touching each object as they call out the number in order to establish the one-to-one correspondence. The activities culminate in an introduction to addition where they count objects in two groups and add the two groups together.

Standards:
These activities are designed to give pre- or early-numerate children practice in counting using both symbols (1, 2, 3, etc.) and names of numbers (one, two, three, etc.). Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 2000) specify students should be able to "understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems." Furthermore, their recommendations for all students in grades pre-K-2 include to:

• count fluently with understanding and recognize "how many" in small sets of objects;
• understand the cardinal and ordinal meaning of numbers in quantifying, measuring, and identifying the order of objects;
• connect number words, the quantities they represent, numerals, and written words and represent numerical situations with each of these;
• develop an understanding of the relative magnitude of numbers and make connections between the size of cardinal numbers and the counting sequence;
• understand different meanings of addition and subtraction of whole numbers and the relation between the two operations.

• About patterns, the Standards say "even before formal schooling, recognition of patterns and comparisons are important components of a child's intellectual development."

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills specifies kindergarten students should "use sets of concrete objects to represent quantities given in verbal or written form (through 9). " They also indicate that all children should "use one-to-one correspondence and language such as more than, same number as, or two less than to describe relative sizes of sets of concrete objects." As to pattern skills in kindergarten, the TEKS endorse students identifying extending, and creating patterns. About addition the TEKS specify, "The student models addition and subtraction. The student is expected to model and create addition and subtraction problems in real situations with concrete objects."

Resources:

• Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Kindergarten Mathematics URL: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/ch111.html#s11112

• Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 2000) Pre-K-2 Number and Operation URL: http://standards.nctm.org/document/chapter4/numb.htm

• Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 2000) Pre-K-2 Algebra URL: http://standards.nctm.org/document/chapter4/alg.htm

 Table of Contents: [Let's Count!][More Counting] English: [Let's Count] [Let's Count Animals] [Let's Count Again] [Which is More?] [Which is More, Again?] [What Comes Next?] [Stars or Hearts?] Counting Machines:[By 2's] [By 3's] [By 5's][By 10's]   Slide Show: [Let's Count Slideshow]

URL http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/counting/counttea.html