Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Simple, Fun Counting Activity (Round 2!)

At the beginning of the year last school year, I did a fantastic counting activity with my class that I got from the fabulous Barbara Novelli from Creative Mathematics. Well, I did the same activity with my new firsties last week and it was GREAT, once again!!

Here is the original post from September 3, 2012:

Well, I'm kind of back in blog land. I even visited/commented on three blogs today! I'm still super busy with school and still very overwhelmed with everything, BUT it is getting better, day by day. Can't wait for life to slow down just a little bit!!! By the way, I'll have some pictures of my finished classroom for you very soon!! I just l-o-v-e how it came out.

I did want to stop by and share something of worth with you! Here is a math activity that me and my team have planned to do this week with our 1st graders. By the way, 1st grade has been AWESOME so far! I have 21 kids in my class. We just finished week 1 of school and in this week, I have given at least 20 hugs a day (WAY more than the 1-2 per week in 4th grade), talked to lots of parents, have wanted to pull my hair out only once or twice, sang LOTS of songs, read LOTS of books, and have done more phonics than I even have thought about since college. I'm in a good place and I think it will be a GREAT year!! My kids are SO sweet and are totally enamored with how fast I can write and color, and how AWESOME my drawings are (lol). It's the simple things...

The activity I am sharing with you is an adaptation from one of the ones I learned at Math Camp. (Check out my other Math Camp posts here!!) I was able to prepare for this activity and will use it without having to spend any money at all! (Well...any new money. I already had all of the supplies at home.) Here is what you need:


  • scrapbook paper (or fabric) with many objects in the print
  • colored paper plates
  • scissors
  • unifix cubes

After the activity go over how many objects the students counted and what exactly they counted. Be sure to instruct students to only connect cubes that make sets of ten. When they share results they will tell how many tens and ones they have, and then the total count. Example: "I counted the whole polka dots in the circle. I have 1 ten and 2 ones--12." 

Hope you enjoy and are able to use this activity! I think we will have fun with it--I'll let you know after Wednesday. ;) See you SOON (though not sure how soon...)! 


  1. Love your new look- bright, cheerful, and fun! This counting activity looks fantastic and is something I am going to have to do with my class. Thanks for sharing!
    Interested in cutting my paper plates for me?!

  2. What an awesome idea! Thank you for sharing this!


  3. I love the idea behind this activity! So easy to differentiate by varying the paper or the size of the plate. I also like that it includes student choice in deciding what to count. I can also envision parts of this as an interactive bulletin board. I will definitely be adding this to my repitoire of counting stratagies.