When students learn through PLAY, concepts and skills are more quickly understood so I try to keep that at the forefront when teaching anything new. We like to have fun around here and I’m here to help you do the same! In this post, you are going to learn a lot of great, easy to implement ideas to help your students master the strategy of counting on to add, in a FUN and organic way.
Why Counting On
When students have the tools to be successful, you can sit back and simply watch them soar. If you want students to master complex math skills, they must first be experts at some foundational skills, including counting and basic addition and subtraction. There are several strategies we can use to add numbers and learning each one will help your students determine which one works best for them. Ultimately, the goal is to help students work with numbers more fluently and this strategy is a quick and easy way to help students truly grasp addition. And if you need a helping hand for helping your students master ALL the strategies for addition, check out a resource for you HERE.
Counting On Traceable Anchor Charts
Support Your Learners
When I’m beginning to plan to teach skills for students, I start with two pieces – how can I differentiate this and how can I let them play to learn this? My go to differentiation tool is the CRA Model because I want students to start off with the concept concretely. This just means that somehow I need to allow students to touch and manipulate what we’re working with. If students get that kinesthetic and/or sensory piece, they can begin to more deeply understand how the concept works. And when you have pieces to move and play with, chances are we can make it some sort of game. You can learn about why playing in the classroom is so important HERE! If you love math games, check out this freebie by subscribing below!
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I have built in differentiation for ALL your learners in my Counting On Activity Pack, so students can not only play, but get the support they need to master the skill they are learning. There are opportunities for them to practice addition within 5, 10 and 20! Other forms of support we always give our students are references around the classroom. Anchor charts are a great tool to support learning and provide choice. Visuals help give them something to “jog their memory” when it comes to those crucial concepts. Check out this post to learn about how impactful anchor charts are in the classroom.
The strategy of counting on is different than counting ALL. Often time when this strategy is introduced, students will take a second to begin counting from 1 because it’s what their brain is used to. They’ll stop at the bigger number and THEN count on to add. To help students overcome this habit, I like to give students a visual for locking the bigger number in their head. These lock and count addition mats give a great reminder to them that they should be counting ON, not counting ALL.
Check out THIS video to see a great visual way to make this tricky concept easier for students!
Another way to denounce misconceptions is giving them a step by step breakdown of what to do when using this counting on strategy.
Step 1: Find your addends
Step 2: Begin with the larger addend
Step 3: Lock the larger addend in your brain
Step 4: Count on until the second addend is reached. Now you have your sum!
Turn On The Fun
Now that we know why this strategy is so important and how we can support them through this learning, let’s get to the fun!
I love using games to practice all the skills! Not only do these games help students understand these concepts… but they are also SO fun! They are perfect for center activities, small groups, or any other time you need to allow for students to practice. Check out some of the engaging ways students get practice with this strategy! From flip and solve games to play dough smash and count activities, your students are sure to learn a lot AND have a blast doing it! The Counting On Activity Pack has everything you need to begin this unit with students, including anchor charts about strategies and vocabulary, countless games, and even a craft! The best part is that some of the activities are editable so you can differentiate for your learners even more!
Want to help your little learners totally rock counting on to add without the heavy burden of planning for the unit? No problem! I’ve got you covered with the Counting On Activities Pack! From an engaging scoot game, to traceable anchor charts, your students will have a blast while mastering the counting on strategy to add!
Below you’ll see the jam packed math centers bundle that includes ALL these engaging activities and more… with a FREEBIE of course! This bundle will help you have engaging, fun, and hands on math activities for the ENTIRE YEAR. Make math a time your students are sure to love and remember! This is also a GROWING bundle because as I come up with more hands on ideas, I continue to add them to the bundle! So each new resource that gets included, you get for FREE!
I really hope you enjoyed learning about counting on to add and why this strategy is so impactful for students! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including the Flip and Solve FREEBIE! You will also have exclusive access to tons of digital how to videos! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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