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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Efficient Counting

We are learning to count efficiently. It is usually more efficient to count large groups of items by 2s, 5s or 10s rather than one by one. In order to do this we have to first learn to count by 2s, 5s and 10s. You can help by counting with your child in the car to and from school. Count forwards by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s and then count backwards (this will help your child in the future with subtraction). Counting by 5s and 10s comes in very handy when we begin to count the value of nickels and dimes. Telling time on an analog clock (one with hands) depends on knowing how to count by 5s, too. So these are important skills for your child to have. We practice these skills at school by doing choral counts as a group, by counting around the circle with each child saying the next number in the series, by writing out the counts in our Math Journals, by counting large groups of items efficiently, by making tally marks for numbers (this is basically counting by 5s), and by lining up while counting by a certain number.

During a recent morning meeting, we had to line up in order. We each had a card with a number on it and we had to count by 2s to get in order. The tricky part was that we were not allowed to talk to each other while getting in order. We had to communicate in other ways in order to be successful. We were so proud when we did it as you can see in the photos below (some of us were missing this morning because they were taking the CogAT this morning so our group was very small).

Be sure to practice counting with your child by 2s, 5s, or 10s whenever you have the chance. Once your child can count by 2s, 5s and 10s, challenge them by asking them to count by 3s or 4s.

Can your child:
  • write his or her last name?
  • tie his or her own shoes?
  • zip his or her own jacket?
  • say his or her street address and/or phone number?
  • open his or her own snack?
If not, now is the time to start having them learn how. They will love how independent they will feel once they can do these things on their own. At school, Ms. Wendy and I will say "find a friend who can help you" when a student asks for help with this kind of task. We do this for several reasons: it makes the kids who can do it feel helpful and needed, it shows the kids who need help that it is possible for someone their age to do these things, often kids learn these things best from another child, and it helps develop our sense of community. (Ms. Wendy and I will step in and help out if we need to, though.)

Reading ~ Read a good book or two
Math ~ Home Link 2.7 Ordering Numbers

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