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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
This St Patrick’s Day printable will give your students opportunities to work on counting on from a number and counting with ten frames. The main March event in your kindergarten classroom will of course be designing, setting and evaluating the inevitable failure of your leprechaun traps. This means that the more that you can theme around the little green guys, the more engaged your students are likely to be this month.
How To Teach Counting With Ten Frames
By the end of their kindergarten year, students need to have a solid grasp of the linear nature of our number system. This means that they need to be confident with counting forwards and backwards by single digits, and to be able to explain how counting on makes the amount greater and the number bigger. Counting with ten frames is the best way to promote this number sense as it shows them how to subitize by groups of ten (and by five as they learn to see the ten frame as two rows of five) as well as promoting one to one correspondence as they count objects in each square of the frame.
Preparing Counting On Leprechaun
Extending Counting Forward Activities
This simple to use St Patrick’s Day printable is ready to go straight off the printer. Simply teach the students how to use them and decide how they will mark their correct answer (a sticker, clip or dry wipe marker are the easiest options). To extend this counting with ten frames center, try some of these activities:
Remove the options – to add a first layer of challenge, simply remove the three options from the bottom of the page (either by using white out or cutting the page along the bottom of the images). This will make students have to count on themselves and removes the opportunity for guesswork. Turn it into a movement activity by posting (or hiding!) the leprechauns around your room and have students move around to find and answer them all.
Write equations – in a similar vein to removing the options, you can help students who have mastered the skill of counting forwards take their next math steps by showing them how to create equations from the images. This is a great opportunity to show them that in an addition equation, the biggest number doesn’t have to come first, and that the equals sign simply means that there is the same amount of gold on both sides of the equation.
Work in reverse – finally, for those students looking for a challenge, you can start on some subtraction. You’ll need to edit each page so that you show the final number and the amount of gold that was added on, and ask them to work out how much gold there was to begin with. This encourages flexible mathematical thinking and leads you to conversations about addition and subtraction fact families.