Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Skip Counting

Skip counting is the basis for children to understand addition and multiplication so it's super important that we take time for kids to learn and understand it.  By no means do I mean memorizing the words ten-twenty-thirty-forty-fifty-sixty-seventy-eighty-ninety-one hundred.  I mean see touch and feel and know how it works...absorbing it, so they truly understand that what we actually mean is 10+10=20+10=30....

The great part is, you can "trick" kids into wanting to learn by telling them you have a faster easier way to count to 100...after all, kids love to be competitive and being fast is a great competitive asset.

Here is what you can do....

I used Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt containers but you can use anything that will stack together nicely.

Take off the labels.  Wrap a paper around the cups.  Have the children put in ten pennies...or ten of any other object.  Have them stack the cups on top of each other.  Then have them practice counting by ten.

Change things up....Have them put 3 in each cup and count by threes....

From there, explain that multiplication is really just a fast way of counting...and learning the multiplication facts will make them super speedy.

To extend learning give them multiplication facts and have them show the problem by using the objects and the cups.  For example have them show 4x2 by taking four cups, putting two objects in each stacking them and counting out the answer.

It's really important that as educators we teach children the in depth understanding.  We need to go beyond route memorization...because we all know that math concepts build on each other and signs of trouble now can easily carry on into future math struggles.

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