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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Thinking about how to teach counting? These counting books back to school printables are a great grab and go option for your start of the year math centers. Work on both learning numbers 1 to 20 and fine motor development with these counting clip cards!
Back to school is a strange time of year. There’s a sadness to it about the end of summer adventures, but also the promise of a new school year filled with new approaches and improvements on your practice from last year. Part of this will be getting a fresh set of back to school printables, and these book themed counting clip cards will be an instant hit with both you and your students.
How To Teach Counting Through Variety
Learning to count accurately is a kindergarten skill that many students struggle with as they come into the classroom. Many are aware of the counting words, but you’ll still spend time with them learning numbers 1 to 20. Moving from the words to actual representations of these numbers is tricky, as is mastering the skill of one to one correspondence (being able to touch and count each item in a set with accuracy).
The key to success for both skills is repeated practice counting a variety of objects in different combinations. These counting books clip cards are a great way to see where students are at as the books aren’t uniformly distributed and are in different orientations. You’ll be able to see which students have mastered their one to one correspondence and who needs more support.
Preparing Back To School Counting Books To 20
For this activity you will need:
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This counting books back to school printable is a great grab and go option for start of the year math centers. Just download and print, preferably two or four to a page to save you on ink. You can use them as clip cards, where students use a clothes peg to mark their answer, or laminate so that they can use a dry wipe marker to show their work.
Scaffolding With Counting Clip Cards
As time goes by, your students will begin to start subitizing numbers up to 10, but learning numbers 1 to 20 and being able to count them accurately often requires explicit teaching of one to one correspondence. For those students who need help accurately counting books on each of the clip cards, try some of the scaffolding activities:
Get physical objects – the first approach with any difficulty in math is to make it concrete. In this case, you may want to set up one of your physical bookcases to represent the problem on the clip card. Students can then touch each book as they count it to ensure their accuracy.
Teach a logical approach – one of the biggest barriers to successful counting is when students count items haphazardly. This back to school printable encourages logical thinking when counting as students should learn to start on the top row of the bookshelf and count their way to the bottom. This logical approach can then be applied when counting other sets of objects.
Use a marker – for larger numbers (i.e. 10 and upwards), students may struggle to remember where they started or which books they’ve already counted. In these situations, giving them a marker to put a dot on each book they’ve counted will help them keep track, as well as making them slow down so they don’t rush through their rote recitation of numbers.
More Themed Centers Perfect for Back to School:
My Back to School Themed Centers is a variety pack of 10 games focused on early literacy, math and fine motor skills.
These are the games included:
1) Number Practice Mats – practice tracing the numbers 1-10 or form them from playdough, count out the objects and build a tower with the corresponding number of blocks.
2) Marker Measurement – use for standard or non-standard measurement; recording sheet provided for your students to write their answers.
3) School Supplies Addition to 10 – use the picture of the pencil case and school supplies to write out and solve the addition equation.
4) School Supplies Arrange By Size – 30 picture sets to arrange by length or size
5) Count and Tally Puzzles – 3 piece puzzles where students will match up the numbers 1-10 with the correct tally mark representation and count the number of objects.
6) Alphabet Writing Strips – laminate and use dry erase markers to practice capital letter handwriting.
7) Backpack Books Sorting – ask your students to sort the uppercase letters from the lowercase letters and place them into the correct backpacks.
8) School Alphabet Order – students will look at a series of 4 letters written on the board, decide if they are in the correct alphabetical sequence, and choose and thumbs up or down response.
9) School Bus Beginning Sound – match up the beginning lowercase letter to the object that starts with that alphabet sound.
10) School Supplies Syllable Count – students will need to clap out the number of syllables for each labeled picture and write the number in the box or build a tower with the corresponding number of blocks.
Fun Books About Counting 1-10 That Rhyme:
Other Back to School Printables You’ll Love:
2) School Supplies Count and Write – Preschool and kindergarten kids will practice one to one correspondence and writing number words from 1 to 10 by counting adorable school supplies.
3) School Mazes – 3 different back to school mazes for fine motor practice
4) Lunchbox Notes –Kids will love them and remember fond memories of their time in school when you send them off every morning with these.
5) Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt – Use this printable treasure hunt as a fun literacy game in your classroom or as a hands-on activity to encourage reading for your homeschooling kids.
Tools You’ll Find Useful For This Center:
Browse My Most Popular Math Printables:
1) Parking Cars Tracing Lines – More than 10 different tracing line patterns to choose from, all of which help with pencil control.
2) Scarecrow Arrange By Size – 3 different scarecrow-themed image sets that they will arrange from smallest to biggest.
3) Bumblebee Addition Game – Solve the sum and help the bee land on the correct flower!
4) Farm Shapes Mats – Use playdough, pompoms, stickers etc to learn 2D shapes.
5) Popsicle Stick Number Formation – Kids will love forming the numbers 1 to 10 when ice cream and popsicles are involved!
8) Counting Colorful Bugs – This printable book will help kids count to 10 while also learning about color words.
9) Humpty Dumpty Numbers – In this printable game, your students will practice number recognition using 1 dice or simple addition when using 2 dice.
10) Build A Number Santa – Match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus
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