Counting Collections

Counting Collections. How many of you do it? How often do you do it? Or do you even know what it is?

I was introduced to counting collections 2 1/2 years ago. I LOVE me some counting collections. So what is counting collection?

Counting collections is exactly what the name implies. It is a collection of items that you present to your class and have a pair or independently count the items. The numbers can go very high *depending on your grade level* and requires a thought process for organizing your thinking. The amount of time that this lesson requires usually takes me from 45minutes - 1hour and 15 minutes. You can also choose how often you implement counting collections in your classroom. For me I try to get to it every week or at the least every other week.

I did a lesson today on counting collections and decided to share it with you all. Now, keep in mind that I teach kindergarten and we are now in the last nine weeks of school so my kiddos have had exposure. This would look very different in the beginning of the year.

The first thing we do is start with our mini lesson. During this time I present them with new information and have them apply that information. There are also occasions where I only give my students a question to think about and have my students use this as their guide during the process and come back and share. Today, I used a question.

Here is a look at our anchor chart.

Then it was time to distribute the materials. I have my kiddos grouped with like abilities because it allows me to focus on my kids who may need more attention and my higher students are not as frustrated during the process.

Here is what my materials look like:

It is truly nothing fancy. I've been collecting for quite some time and I have two more bins like this one. Each bin is specified for a particular time of year. I pull out the bags that I want to use ahead of time and each bag is labels and I have a sheet with the correct number inside of the bin (I forgot to take a picture of this).

As I call the groups they came and get their bag and their recording page and sit down. Here is the important part for me. I do not let my students get started right away. I force my children to TALK! Yes TALK! I want them to discuss with their partner what they are counting and how they will be counting. This helps them get a "game plan" together. After they have told me their counting method of choice they are allowed to begin.

I also have a bucket with various materials that students can use for organizing their counting. I do have to keep some in the back of my closet but the others stay in the blue bucket; cups is a very popular choice in my room.

This is a time when I am walking around and asking questions and guiding students as they count. I make observations and take notes to discuss during our wrap up.

So hear is a peek at what my kiddos were doing during this time.

Once I have given my students ample time to count and record their thinking we clean up and make our way to the carpet to discuss and sharing our counting! This was when I revisited the questions and came up with the answers.

So I have a freebie for you! Here is my recording sheet that I use and my students' recording sheet. Click here to grab these.

It truly is amazing how I have some cuties that are counting objects in the 300's!!!! I mean wow! They are truly gaining a greater sense of place value.


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