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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
This dinosaur theme counting tally marks 1 to 20 activity will hook your students with the different dinosaur images (expect to be told the name of the dinosaur on each page!) and will help them practice their subitizing skills all year long. While there’s evidence of humans using tally marks going back over 30,000 years, no one has found them on dinosaur bones. This doesn’t stop kindergarten students being fascinated by the ancient lizards, or being engaged by any math activities that have dinosaurs on them.
The Importance of Tally Marks 1 to 20
When you start your lesson with the question “how do you write tally marks?”, many students will ask why you don’t just write the numbers. Tally marks are an essential tool for representing numbers in different ways, and students who develop alternative number representation skills have a much better number sense moving forwards. Being able to write tally marks 1 to 20 also helps your kindergarten students build their subitizing skills: the ability to see a group of objects and instantly know how many there are in the group.
Preparing Your Dinosaur Theme Tally Mark Counting Activity
For this activity you will need:
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This dinosaur theme counting tally marks 1 to 20 activity comes ready to use with a single click. You may decide to print multiple copies for some of the games listed below, so be sure to laminate them for future young paleontologists to use.
Counting Tally Marks in the Classroom
This dinosaur theme math packet makes for a perfect center to help your students count tally marks 1 to 20. As with all kindergarten math activities, you’ll need to teach the strategy of counting tally marks in groups of 5 first to the whole class before you ask them to complete the packet independently. To extend this center, try some of these activities:
Play “war” – if you print a set of the cards 4 to a page, you can make a small deck of cards to play with. Give each student a stack of uncompleted cards and have them all turn over the top card in the deck at the same time. They then have to quickly work out a) how many bones are on each card and b) who has the greatest number. The student with the greatest number gets the cards from that round and you keep playing till one student has all the cards.
Sort the deck – you can practice the essential skills of more and less by having students complete the packet and then sorting the cards in numerical order. You could also have students put the entire deck out in front of them, and then call a number at random. They then have to pick the number of tally marks that is one more or one less than the number that you called.
Dig and count – finally, take your math center to the next level by having a sand table with up to 20 plastic dinosaurs buried in the sand. Students have 20 seconds to find as many dinosaurs as they can, marking each one that they find with a tally mark. Once the timer is up, they can then count their own tally marks.
More Dinosaur Themed Centers
Like this? Then you’ll love my 10 Dinosaur Themed Literacy and Math Centers. These easy-prep games will get your students working on math, literacy and fine motor skills.
1) Dinosaur Alphabet Writing Strips – with handwriting lines
2) Dinosaur CVC Ending Sounds – 40 different words included
3) Dinosaur Alphabet Clip Strips – place a clothespin/clip on the matching letters on the strip
4) Letter-saurus Fossil Digging – pick a letter card then find and color it on the recording sheet
5) Dinosaur Playdough Color Words Mats – 8 different mats to use with playdough for forming the names of colors
6) Dinosaur School Race Spin and Graph – race to 10
7) Dinosaur Playdough Counting Mats to 10 – form the number and then fill up the ten frame with playdough ‘dinosaur eggs’
8) Dinosaur Number to Word Matching – number and word cards to 10 included
9) Dinosaur Egg Pattern Strips – use pompoms, dot markers, dot stickers or other colored manipulatives to complete the patterns. Includes ABAB, AABB, ABCABC and ABCB patterns
10) Dinosaur Eating Habits Sorting Mats – divide 18 food items into herbivore or carnivore mats
Fun Books About Dinosaurs:
Other Dinosaur Printables You’ll Love:
1) Dinosaur Printable Worksheets Pack – 50-page pack for your little one to practice letter recognition, writing, counting, graphing, tracing, coloring and so much more.
2) Dinosaur On The Run Tracing Lines – Improve fine motor skills and concentration at the same time. There are more than 10 different patterns to choose from.
5) Letter-saurus Fossil Digging – Preschoolers will love pretending to be a paleontologist so grab this free printable game and start working on letter recognition.
Educational Tools For Your Classroom:
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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