Math on Mondays - skip counting

Welcome back to Math on Mondays

This week I'd like to discuss Skip Counting.
A good foundation in Skip Counting is very  important.
It helps with adding doubles, telling time, counting money, and of course, multiplication.

So we sing skip counting songs every day during my Calendar routine. 
The calendar helper points with a pointer to a large Hundreds Chart, as we sing along.
I have some skip counting songs, but I don't have the name of the CD on hand.  I'll post it up in a few days, once I find the case.

Anyway, so after a few months of learning these songs.  We sing two of them every morning.  Then I let the children work by themselves counting manipulatives that I have.  Now I have already posted about my junk jobs which are collections of buttons, beads, coins, keys, lids etc.etc. 

Well I also have a bunch of Work Jobs that I made when I started teaching. 
What are Work Jobs??? 

It's one of the original hands-on math programs.  The Author, Mary Baratta-Lorton
wrote the program Math Their Way, which I believe to be the grand-old-lady of hands on math programs.    I used Math Their Way for years as a Kindergarten teacher.  Work Jobs expands on it, and Work Jobs II expands it even more.

Click on the photo above to check out the amazon listing. 
I strongly recommend checking if you can find this book at the library, or molding away in the back of your school bookroom, because the ideas in it are fabulous.
 Check back for my post on how I put my own Work Jobs together.
I use them for everything.  Addition, Subtraction, Skip Counting, Estimating, patterning...

Here we have playdough "cookies" from my Work Jobs. This child is skip counting by 2's.  To start the unit, though, I ask the kids to group the counters by the number they are using so that they can visually see what's going on - it's just a bit time consuming.

Birthday candles - this child is starting to group by 10's, but they just can't help sorting them by colour first can they?

This child is grouping by 10's as well.
I give each child 5 minutes at a Work Job (I actually call them Math Boxes in my classroom), and then they rotate around their table to the next one.  There are six children at each table, so 6 rotations lets them experience all the Math Boxes at their table.  I do this A LOT.  Because I want to increase their exposure to the manipulaties, so that they can stop playing with them.  The more exposure to the manipulatives, the less they get distracted during a lesson, and the more learning occurrs.  That's my theory at least.
Thanks a lot for stopping by today.


  1. Math Their Way is the foundation for my way of thinking about math in my classroom. Great stuff!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. I agree that skip-counting is a super important skill. You have found some creative ways to teach it. I love the bottle caps. Here's a game I created to teach skip-counting.

  3. I have this WorkJobs book! I used it all the time when I taught K... I should have a look at it again now that I'm teaching 1 (in Ontario)

  4. I love the idea of more nontraditional math manipulatives - they can be so costly, but we can use just about anything when using concrete objects to solidify our thinking/learning!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade