Since it is very important for students in pre-k and kindergarten to have a strong foundation in counting & numbers prior to moving on to first grade where the counting system is no longer a focus in the state standards, I have developed counting practice pages and activities that can be used throughout the year. These pages and center mats are a good addition to your counting lessons and instruction and can be used for morning work, extra practice, assessment, or regular class work.
All 4 of my seasonal counting and numbers practice sets have been recently updated to include practice pages and play dough / center mats and now come in both color and black and white. All 4 can be conveniently purchased in a money-saving bundle pack.
Counting is an effortful process that requires a lot of attention and focus from young children, therefore it helps if the content is motivating. I have used colorful and fun seasonal items on the practice pages that students should enjoy counting because they relate to the season or time of the year.
The center mats have a cute seasonal character and can be used in a variety of ways so students do not get bored.
There are a number of processes and skills that students must learn and master in order to answer the question of “How many?”:
- 1:1 correspondence (student touches an object only once and says a counting word for each object touched)
- saying the counting word sequence in order
- cardinality (student assigns a number word to the set)
- ordinality (student understands the order that the objects are counted is irrelevant to the quantity).
Students may master these skills at various levels and times which is why the practice pages are differentiated.
The first set of practice pages requires students to count sets of objects and circle the correct number from 3 given numbers – (K.CC.B.4 and K.CC.B.5). Below is an example from my Spring Counting & Numbers set.
The second section of each set requires students to count sets of objects and write the correct number – (K.CC.A.3, K.CC.B.4 and K.CC.B.5). Below is an example from my Fall Counting & Numbers set:
The objects in each set of the above referenced practice pages are arranged in even rows and columns to aide students with subitizing.
The third section of each set requires students to represent a given number by either drawing or pasting the correct number of seasonal objects beside each number – (K.CC.B.4 and K.CC.B.5). Below is an example from my Spring Counting & Numbers set. Students can cut and paste frogs to represent the number or draw bees to represent the number.
My counting and numbers seasonal sets also include play dough mats / center mats for numbers 1-20. These mats have seasonal themes and come in color and black and white (the black and white can be printed onto colored paper).
Students can roll play dough into small balls and place the appropriate number of balls in the ten frame. They can also form the play dough in the shape of the number inside the large “bubble numbers”. Below are example play dough mats from my Winter Counting & Numbers set and my Summer Counting & Numbers set:
These mats may also be used for centers. Students can place counters, bingo chips, pom-poms, or other manipulatives in the ten frames to represent the number. They may also use stickers, bingo dabbers, color the squares with seasonal colors, or draw their own pictures.
The large “bubble numbers” can be traced or rainbow traced (traced with as many colors as possible) and then students can practice writing their own numbers in the white space. Below are example play dough mats from all 4 counting and numbers sets. In these examples students used acorns, snowballs (cotton balls), pom poms, and sea shells as counters.
These center mats can also be used for “number talks” to help students with subitizing. Flash a ten frame for 5 seconds and have students re-create it. Talk to students about how they remembered it.