Sunday, March 13, 2011

Counters....What do I do with them!?

 A little while ago, we had a reader ask us about activities she can do with her children using counters. First of all, I am so glad she purchased counters! They are such a great manipulative! They are a GREAT way to help your child develop number sense as well as practice basic addition and subtraction skills. Secondly, there are endless ways you can use counters and we are going to share a few of our ideas.

1. Put them in a cup and shake them!
When helping your child with number sense, have your child grab a handful of counters without looking (if this child is young, no more than 10) and place them in the cup. Then have her shake it and dump it and count how many fell onto the table. Next, have her correctly write down the number to practice the correct way to write a number. This is a basic way to practice counting and can be done starting at 2 years old!
**Please note that I have drawn the counters because mine are stuck in storage at the moment! :)
2. Shaking and separating for more number sense practice.
You can also use a regular 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper horizontally. Draw a line down the middle to separate it into two parts. Label one side with a RED crayon or marker "Red" and the other side with a YELLOW crayon or marker "Yellow". {By using the corresponding color, it will help your child read/learn the word better}. Then have your child count out ten counters and place them in the cup. Have him shake it and dump it onto the paper. Next, have him separate the yellow and the red counters into their correct side and count them. At the bottom of the "Red" side have him write the number of red counters shown. Have him do the same on the "Yellow" side.

3. Shaking and separating for addition and subtraction practice.
On a blank piece of paper, draw an upside down "T" and label like below.
Next have your child put 10 counters (or more or less depending on her age) into the cup. Have her shake them and dump them out onto the paper. Next have her separate them according to color in their correct spaces. Last, have her create a number sentence (either addition or subtraction) and record it on the bottom part of the paper.

If you notice I have color coordinated throughout the activity to further help with their understanding. 

Of course you can make any one of these activities into a fun game. Also, these activities can be done on white boards for a fun change. I would have my students do these activities at the red rug with me and when they had their answer ready, they couldn't hold up their white board until I said "1, 2, 3 show me!!" They loved using their white boards and counters with these activities.

These are just a few basic activities that can be done with counters. We will definitely be posting more!

**As with all activities, they can easily be adapted depending on your child's level/age. :)


Jackie Lynn said...

You guys are awesome! Thanks for responding to my request. You made my purchase worthwhile!

shel said...

Is there anyway teacher-2-mom could categorize the posts for age groups? that would be super helpful! thanks!

teacher2mom said...

You are so welcome! I'm glad you can use these activities. :)

Shel - We will definitely try to put them into age groups. Great idea! Thanks!

surendra said...

Amazing your counters and i like your Red/ Yellow Calculation . Fantastic your posting so thanks
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Paul Rama said...

FYI--I've been doing this EVERYDAY with my son because he just cannot get enough of it! Thank you!