Helping Hands for Skip Counting
I was going through my boxes of teaching materials from my pre-kids teaching career. Oh, if you didn’t know, I have returned to the classroom after 6 years off to be home with my boys. Anyway, as I was unpacking I came across one of my favorite teaching tools for teaching skip counting.
I had purchased some handprint cut outs simply because I liked them and thought they could one day be something. And indeed they did! I created these visual aids for teaching kids to count by 2s, 5s and 10s.
Note: You can easily make your own handprint cut-outs by tracing your child’s hand on card stock.
Count by 2s
To create these hands, simply glue down the thumb, ring finger and pinky on each hand. Then write the counts by 2s on the palms of the hands and the counting numbers on the fingers.
For these hands, write the counts by 5s on the palms and the counting numbers on the fingers.
These may be stretching it a bit, but if you want to try to use these hands for counting by 10s, try placing the 5 and 10 hands together with the 5 on the bottom. Repeat with the 15 and 20, the 25 and 30. and the 35 and 40 etc.
Some ideas for using your helping hands:
- Give the handprints to your child and have him put them in the correct order.
- Lay the handprints flat on the table with a few of them facing down. Have your child figure out what comes next in the pattern or what is missing.
- Use a sticky note and cover up either the number on the palm or one or two of the numbers on the fingers and have your child write the missing numbers on the sticky note.
- Lay out the skip counting cards in a line in front of you and your child. Make sure the hands are not in order. Begin by taking the first number (2 if practicing counting by 2s), then ask your child to pick the number that comes next (4). Continue as such until all the numbers are used. If your child does not know which number is next use the numbers on the fingers to help him count up to the next number.
- Try the activity above but do it without talking!
- Skip counting is important in the development of fluency, number sense and the basis for multiplication and division.
- Skip counting develops over time and the range of numbers a child can skip count develops over time as well.
- Student should eventually be able to skip count beginning at any number (not just 0).
- Students should eventually be able to skip count backwards.
- Students should eventually be able to skip count (forwards and backwards) fluently by twos, fours, fives, tens, and hundreds starting at any number.
- Fluency with skip counting forward will develop before skip counting backwards.
- Remember that all children develop at a different rate and these skills will be learned at different times and in different ways by each individual child.
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