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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Spring is a fun time in your kindergarten classroom. The snow melts, the flowers start to pop up and there’s a whole slew of holidays to keep your students motivated. While this gives you a great theme for your classroom, you can also spend some time exploring the truth (or not!) in the saying “April showers bring May flowers”. There’s a lot of good data to be collected as the rain falls, from the amount of rain outside to the number of rainy days. While it’s impossible to count each raindrop, these math task cards for spring give you raindrops counting frames up to 20, which means plenty of counting practice all season long.
Counting With Ten Frames
Modern approaches to counting have advanced considerably in previous years. No longer is it sufficient to just focus on one to one correspondence (where students touch an object and say sequential counting numbers). The current thinking is teaching students to draw in the ten frame helps them to visualize patterns in the counting numbers, and makes connections when it comes to addition and subtraction. A ten frame is simply two rows of five squares on top of each other, and students count by filling in each row from left to right. This allows them to see how many items they have, and how many spaces remain to make up to. Drawing twenty frames is simple, as you just put two ten frames next to each other, and these raindrops counting frames offer both ten and twenty frame counting options.
Preparing Your Counting On to 20 Math Clip Cards
There are two ways to print these math clip cards. The first is to have a full size set which you laminate. This can be used for small group instruction or independent self checks. You should also print out a smaller set, possibly 4 to a page, so that students can use them like a deck of cards for the games described below.
Teaching With Raindrops Counting Frames
These fun math task cards for spring will help your students to draw in the ten frame by having them represent the number shown in each raindrop. To extend and modify this task, try some of these tasks:
Use real objects – for those students who struggle with abstract math concepts, have them use real objects instead of asking them to draw in the ten frame. You could use little pom poms, erasers or counters, and you could challenge students to complete the raindrops counting frames with tweezers as a way of building grip strength.
Sort in order – once students have become confident with these math task cards for spring, give them 3 sequential cards and have them sort them in order from greatest to smallest. The completed ten and twenty frames should provide a good visual clue, and you can up the challenge by giving your students non-sequential numbers.
Make a puzzle – finally, good math practice in kindergarten should have multiple ways for students to engage with a problem. Once they’ve completed the whole pack of raindrops counting frames (including drawing twenty frames), you can cut the frames away from the raindrops. Students then have to match each number to the correct ten or twenty frame. You can make this a self-checking exercise by using different shaped scissors when you cut each page in two, so that each raindrop will only “fit” with one of the raindrops counting frames.