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Do your students know what a group is? or what a group of ten is?

I’ve been wanting to incorporate counting collections at school for a while, but I haven’t had the understanding of how to organize counting collections effectively.  I recently attended a colleague visit where a kindergarten teacher showed the procedures she used for teaching counting collections.  So, after attending this training, I initiated counting collections at our school with the 1st and kindergarten teachers.  In the meantime, one of the kindergarten teachers shared with me at school that she realized her students didn’t know what a group was– much less know what a group of ten was.  She began her instruction with just discussing groups and what kinds of things can come in groups.  They talked about groups of three, four, or six etc.  They made groups of different amounts in  whole group discussion under the document camera.  Students were able to have a foundation to understand a “group of ten.”  Then the teacher was able to place a different amount of counters underneath the camera to ask if she had a group of ten.  First, she placed less counters under the camera like 8 and asked if she had a group of ten.  After that she placed more counters under the camera, like a group of ten and 3 more, and asked if she had a group of ten.  Doing all of these seemingly common sense-ical counting procedures before hand led to a much more successful counting collections lesson for students to count their collections effectively.  These are the rudimentary things that no college or textbook teaches you!

To read the valuable counting collections article from Teaching Children Mathematics, click here.

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