No Series: Sharing Strategies for Counting Collections


Common core State Standards

  • Math:  Math
  • 2:  Grade 2
  • NBT:  Number & Operations in Base Ten
  • A:  Understand place value
  • 2: 
    Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • Math:  Math
  • 3:  Grade 3
  • NBT:  Numbers & Operations in Base Ten
  • A:  Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic
  • 2: 
    Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Sharing Strategies for Counting Collections

Lesson Objective: Record and share strategies when skip counting
Grades 2-3 / Math / Number Sense
Math.2.NBT.A.2 | Math.3.NBT.A.2


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How can this activity be differentiated for different grades and abilities?
  2. Why is it important to discuss different ways to record strategies?
  3. How does Ms. Todd relate this activity to addition?
  4. See also Mathematical Practice Standard 5 in the CCSS?


  • Private message to Jaime Russell
If you are looking for what was on the worksheet, pause at 5:57 and you can see what was on it to create your own! Thank you for the great video, I am using this in my classroom next week!
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Suzanne Snaidauf
I love this video! Do you have the counting collections worksheet for download? Thank you, Suzanne
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Elizabeth Imende
Ms. Todd models provisioning so nicely in this lesson, which is particularly important in math where concepts can get abstract and confusing without the help of manipulatives to visualize the thought process. She has clearly thought backwards from the concept she wants students to learn and designed an activity for students to demonstrate understanding of that concept in a way that she could assess. The colors of objects in the bag are immediately appealing at the beginning of the lesson--the antithesis to a black and white worksheet! Students can't help thinking, "This is going to be fun!", but it is fun in the service of a clear learning objective. I like how the lesson began with students reading the objective. I wondered if the second objective was more like a means to an end (more descriptive of the process) than a learning target to be assessed.
Recommended (1)
  • Private message to Roberdia Irving
This activity can be differentiated for different grades and abilities in my class by helping me teach my modified math class learn their multiplication facts. This activity can address all grades at each student's individual level of knowledge identifying their weaknesses and strengths as we implement a quicker way to count collections as they learn to memorize their multiplication facts. It is important to discuss different ways to record strategies so that you can use data collected to see which learning strategies work best for each student's different learning style. Ms. Todd related this activity to addition when she asked students to count how they collected and grouped their collections verbally.
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Joanne McCluskey
Ms. Todd, very nice class and lesson. You had great questioning techniques as you went from group to group. I will be trying this lesson once I collect lots of baggies and materials. I love it
Recommended (0)


  • Transcript of COUNTING COLLECTIONS: Third Grade

    Teacher: We’re going to do a counting collection today and each one of you are

    Transcript of COUNTING COLLECTIONS: Third Grade

    Teacher: We’re going to do a counting collection today and each one of you are going to get a group of objects, and so you’ll be counting those. So we’re going to read the objectives together. OK, ready. Begin.

    Students: We will estimate the number of objects in a collection. We will …..

    Teacher: Nice job.

    Counting collections helps students to learn different ways to count, rather than just counting by ones, counting in ways that are more efficient, maybe by 5s, 10s, 20s.

    Teacher: So I want to first show you some ways that you might count your objects. So here are some cups and here’s my puzzle pieces. My partner and I can decide the best way to count these. So I might decide to put them in groups of 10. So I’m just going to count by 2s. Two, four, six, eight, ten, and then I’m going to put that cup to the side because it’s done. Then after I have all of my cups that’s when my partner and I will count them. What are some ways to record this? Like if I just group all of these in groups of 10, what are some ways I could record it? Can you quickly come show us up here. How would we record if I group all of those puzzle pieces …

    Student: You counted by 10s?

    Teacher: I counted by 10s, yeah

    Student: __________ you could just put 10 and then a plus sign

    Teacher: So Aurelie said you could either do 10 dots and a circle, or you can just put a circle and label it 10 plus 10 plus 10 until you get done. Any questions about that? All right.

    Teacher: OK, you guys can get your collections.

    [Students counting]

    Teacher: Have you guys made a decision on how to group them? How are you grouping them?

    Student: (answers)

    Teacher: Wow, 50s.

    When my students are counting their objects in their collections I’m walking around looking at students and how they’re grouping their objects, how are they keeping track of their objects, the ones they’ve counted, making sure they’re not counting them twice.

    Teacher: When you put them in your cup how are you counting them? Are you saying one …

    Student: Fifty in each cup

    Teacher: So you’re putting them in groups of 50s. Why are you putting them in groups of 50s?

    Student: Because we thought I would be a quick way because all you have to do is 50, 100, 150, 200 …..300 ….and it’ll be more of an efficient way

    Teacher: More efficient way. So if you’re counting by 50s. How are you guys grouping yours? By 10s.

    You have to be able to work well with your partner to be successful at counting collections. You have to be able to agree on a way to count. I saw two of my girls. They had green cards and they had purple cards and so they shared the responsibility. One girl would count the purple cards and then the other student would count the green cards.

    Teacher: Is that a group of 10? And then what do you have?

    Student: Two left over

    Teacher: So what should we do with these two?

    Student: She has 8and this is 2 so 8 plus 2 is 10

    Teacher: Wow. So what could we do with this 8 plus 2 is 10? What could we …

    Student: We can put them together

    Teacher: OK, where is the 8? Is that your group of 8? What should we do with these? Sarah?

    Student: We should count the 10s and then we should make these 2 ____ . Wherever number we land on we’re going to count by ones

    Teacher: So your different strategies, but both of them are correct. So I’m going to let you guys decide which one you’re going to do. All right, awesome. So I would say just keep these out of the way so you’ll know, and then go ahead and count your cards.

    Students are understanding how not only to count but they’re also learning how to record and how to add their collection.

    Student: OK, now draw a circle and put 50. Draw 9 of those and then at the last one there’s 79

    Student: And now add 50 plus 50, equals 100. So now add these hundreds …..

    Teacher: How did you group these?

    Student: By 50s

    Teacher: Can you tell me how you added these? So count these to me

    Student: 50, 100, 150, 200, 205

    Teacher: You want to try it again? You said 50 ….

    Teacher: 255? Where did you get 255 from?

    Student: In this one there was 250 and then there’s one with 5

    Teacher: Oh, so this one has 5 in it. That’s awesome guys. So Jason gave me permission to share his. When he counted them he had 255 pieces. So his representation he grouped them in groups of what? Jason, what did you group them in?

    Student: 50s

    Teacher: So why did you group them in 50s?

    Student: Because I thought it would be easier to count

    Teacher: OK, so he thought it was going to be easier to count and Olivia said she always uses the word efficient. So he grouped them in 50s. So this was a cup, 50 plus 50, and Ki you can double check and make sure this is correct because you did it with him. Another 50, 50, 50 and then one cup had 5 pieces in it. So if you look at this one that shows 5 pieces. So he added them up and if you look, he skip counted by 50s, and I want you to skip count with me by 50s. Ready? Think. Begin.

    Student: 50, 100, 150, 200

    The satisfying part of teaching for me is just coming here every day and having the opportunity to just look at my students grow. They’re great. I just feel like they learn so much in just 10 months. I just don’t want to let them go.

    ? end of transcript

School Details

Lakeridge Elementary School
7400 South 115th St
Seattle WA 98178
Population: 417

Data Provided By:



Laretha Todd


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