Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s

We are keeping it seasonal up here in Massachusetts. It is all about pumpkins and leaves and the season, Fall!

I have been noticing that my students are still struggling with skip counting - especially counting by 2s. So, today, in math we read the book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara.

In this cute story, a classroom of students receive 3 pumpkins and estimate how many seeds are inside each one. The students then split up and decide how to count the seeds in the most efficient way. One small group counts their seeds by 2s, one group counts by 5s, and the other group counts by 10s and they determine which pumpkin has the most seeds! There are also some fun, pumpkin facts at the end of the book.

I wanted my class to try something similar, but instead of using a real pumpkin (way too messy and time consuming for me), I used some math manipulatives and fall, felt containers from Target.
Grouping and counting by 2s.

Grouping and counting by 5s

  Grouping and counting by 10s.

I split my students up into 6 groups of 3 and each group received a bucket filled with manipulatives and a number (these are from my Pumpkin Math unit, but you could just write 2, 5, or 10 on an index card). The number in their bucket represented how I wanted my kids to practice grouping and counting their objects.

Each group counted their manipulatives and then we switched containers so we could all practice counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s! When all groups were finished, we met together back on the mat and ordered the buckets from the least amount of items to the most! We also talked about which buckets were hardest to count and why... we all agreed counting by 2s is tricky!

These buckets will now go in a math center for extra counting practice :)

I know I've said it countless times, but I realllllllllly am glad to be back in MA appreciating the beautiful, Autumn weather and enjoying so many fall-themed games with the kids!

3 comments

  1. What a great idea! I love that book and I think this idea would definitely help my students with skip counting too. Thanks!

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  2. We love these ideas and such great practice for skip counting. We have quite a few this year who are struggling with counting by 5s and we just introduced nickels- Yikes!
    Thanks for sharing Susan!
    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

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  3. Love the skip counting idea! I am always looking for skip counting center ideas that are more hands on. Thanks for sharing

    Shuna
    Pocket Full of Kinders

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