Counting Strategies

  • Developing 5 using Counting Strategies for 0–10



    Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities by counting, producing, and constructing the numbers 0–10 as well as developing 5 as a benchmark.


    Have students write their first name and guess how many letters are in it. Technology option: Have students play Five Frame. Only use games 1–3.


    Lesson 1 of 2

    Students use snap cubes and the number line to count how many they have in various configurations and make connections between numerals and quantities.

    Lesson 2 of 2

    Students make comparisons of given numbers to the benchmark number of 5 to develop a conceptual understanding of the relative size of numbers and their relationship to one another.

    ARC Assessement

    Have students grab a handful of any small manipulative (counters, marbles, bears, snap cubes, etc.) and count it out to identify the following:

    • How many total items are there?
    • How many would there be if one more was added?
    • How does your number compare with the number 5 and the number 10?

    Available as a handout (PDF)

    Technology Resources

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  • ARC Global Essential Question(s)

    How can I show and tell how many of something I have and count them accurately? How do numbers relate to each other?


    counting, counting strategies, benchmark of 5, numeral, cardinality


    • ten-frame
    • benchmark numbers (0 and 5)
    •  counting all
    •  counting on
    •  Numerals
    •  counting strategies
    •  more than
    • less than
    • one more than
    • one less than
    • the same as
    • less than
    • greater than


    CCSS, Content Standards to Domain Level

    • K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects). [This ARC addresses this standard within 5, although it could be adapted or revisited to address numbers within 20.]
    • K.CC.B.4.b Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
    • K.CC.B.4.c Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
    • K.CC.B.5 Count to answer "how many?" questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects. [This ARC addresses this standard within 5, although it could be adapted or revisited to address numbers within 20.]
    • K.CC.B.7 Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.

    CCSS, Standards for Mathematical Practices

    • SMP 2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
    • SMP 4 Model with mathematics.
    • SMP 7 Look for and make use of structure.


    • Original Source: Illuminations unit, Let's Count to 10
    • Original Author: Grace M. Burton
    • Adapted by: Jennifer Bay-Williams, Patti Huberty, Nick Pyzik, Jennifer Suh and Cindy Cliche