Counting – Step 1

  • Where are they now?

    Matches some number words and symbols to small collections with support

  • Where to next?

    Matches collections, number names and symbols for some numbers in the range 1 to 10

  • Purpose

    While at the single digit stage matching numerals to collections may seem to be just a memory exercise, students will not progress even at this level unless they are encouraged to build an understanding that numbers are about ‘amount’ orquantity – that they are not just about counting sequence. This idea of quantity is what makes mathematics different to other subjects. When learning reading, knowing a sequence of letters that makes a word is of little use unless the meaning of the word is also understood. So too with mathematics, just stating the name of a number symbol is of little use unless there is an understanding of the quantityindicated by the number. With higher numbers, this ability requires a broad understanding of all aspects of whole number including an understanding of the base10 system and place value, counting, magnitude and location.

Activities and Assessments (designed to move students from step 1 to step 2)

Beehives – 1:1 Correspondence

Adapted from ‘Beehive’, Developing Efficient Numeracy Strategies Stage 1 page 34. NSW Department of Education and Training, Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate 2003 Focus: Matching the results of a count with a numeral, while reinforcing the idea of one count per item. How: See Beehives – 1:1 Correspondence sheet and Video Example below

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    Beehive boards

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    Download Bees template

Beehives – Matching with manipulatives (Video Example)

Adapted from ‘Beehive’, Developing Efficient Numeracy Strategies Stage 1 page 34. NSW Department of Education and Training, Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate 2003 Focus: Students determine the number of a collection of counters, checking the count against a numeral How: See Beehives – Counting with manipulatives sheet as well as Video Example below

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    Download Beehives boards

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    Bees template

Spin ‘n’ Cover

Focus: Identifying numerals and matching them wih collections, building the idea that numbers are not just about order, but about quantity. How: For small groups of around 4 students. Each student is given a collection of counters of a unique colour, for example one student will have green counters, another student blue counters and so on. On each turn, a student spins the spinner provided (or throws a 10 sided die) and locates a square on the game board that matches the numeral indicated on the spinner. The student then places one of their counters on to that square, then passes the spinner to the next player. If there are no unoccupied squares matching the number indicated on the spinner, the student misses a turn. The aim is to be the first to place three counters (of the same colour) in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Questions to ask students during this activity: “What is that number?”, “Can you find a square with that many dots in it?”, “How many dots in that square?”, “Can you count them?”, “Is that number of dots the same as the number on your spinner?”

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    Download Spin and Cover 1-5 sheet

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    Download Spin and Cover 1-10 sheet

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    Spinner to 5

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    Spinner to 10

Numerals and Collections Memory

Focus: Visualising collections for given numerals helps to consolidate the idea of each numeral representing a specific quantity How: See Numerals and Collections Memory sheet

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    Download dot cards 1-10 (random arrangement)

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    Download numeral cards 1-10

Assessment Points – Counting collections

Place a collection of counters (10 or fewer) in front of a student. Ask them to determine ‘how many counters’ as quickly as possible. Note the method they use (e.g. do they count ones, twos or even make a sub-collection of 5?). If they find the task easy, try with a greater number of counters.
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    Download Assessment Points – Matching 1 sheet