Counting is one of a child’s first math skills, and it’s vital to practice and nail this skill down. When we skip count, we count by numbers other than one. In my classroom, we practice skip counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s every day. To make things more exciting, I love to incorporate counting movement activities to engage students in the practice of skip counting!
Why is Skip Counting Important?
Skip counting is an essential method because it helps students develop number sense. Learning to skip count also allows kids to recognize and connect patterns in numbers. Finally, skip counting is the foundation for more advanced math skills like addition and subtraction, counting coins and money, and multiplication and division.
When students have strong skip counting skills, they have an excellent basis of understanding upon which to build additional math skills.
How to Practice Skip Counting
When I started teaching first grade, I waited until the curriculum told me to introduce skip counting. There was one SINGLE lesson for counting by 2’s, one for 5’s, and one for 10’s. That’s IT. Kids needed to master skip counting and apply that skill for problem-solving in just three short days!
That clearly didn’t work.
So, in search of an answer, I started to practice skip counting every morning. I would use unique and creative ways to get kids to count and think about this skill. It made a huge difference.
Try some of my favorite calendar slides, including skip counting, right here! ⤵️
Skip Counting Movement Activities
Like many things I do with my students, skip counting is better with movement! When kids move during skip counting, it increases engagement AND retention. Win-win!
To learn more about the benefits of movement and how I incorporate it throughout my teaching day, check out this post.
These movements are simple and repetitive, so students can focus on the task at hand: skip counting! Additionally, you can do them sitting on the floor, on a chair, or standing. Finally, you can do them alone or with a partner!
- Count by 2️⃣s:
- Hold up two fingers on each hand. Raise one hand at a time and cross the midline as you count. If you have a partner, tap your partner’s fingers as you count.
- Count by 5️⃣s:
- Raise one hand at a time with all five fingers extended. Cross the midline as you count by fives. If you have a partner, high-five your partner’s opposite hand as you count.
- Count by 🔟s:
- Raise both hands and count by tens like you’re raising the roof. You can do this standing or sitting.
These are simple movements, but the brain and body connection helps students master the art of skip counting much faster than through rote learning alone.
Digital Classroom Calendar
Our digital classroom calendar makes it easy to choose which skills to practice daily. You can count by 2, 5, 10, or a number of your choice with ready-to-project slides. There are also over 60 pages, so you can choose the activities that meet your students’ needs!
Check out my no prep slides that last ALL year!
Ready to Start Skip Counting?
When you make these skip counting activities part of your daily routine, your students have a better chance of mastering a skill that is foundational for math success. Plus, adding in movements has benefits that surpass just math memorization!
2, 4, 6, 8… which teacher is really great? Spoiler alert: it’s YOU!