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Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Counting Collections Practice

Subject Area





In this activity, the students will focus on the mathematical standard of counting and cardinality. Students will have opportunities to count orally, use hands-on manipulatives for counting, and other activities to build experiences in counting. Students practice counting skills, apply strategies, and ask and answer questions about counting.

This activity results from the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

    Mathematics (2019) Grade(s): KG

    Connect counting to cardinality using a variety of concrete objects.

    Unpacked Content

    Unpacked Content



    • Cardinality
    • One to one correspondence
    • Hierarchical inclusion


    Students know:
    • Use one to one correspondence when counting objects.
    • how to rote count in consecutive order.


    Students are able to:
    • count objects with one to one correspondence.
    • Indicate the number of objects.
    • Explain one more.


    Students understand that:
    • a number represents a quantity.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will use strategies to count a collection of objects regardless of their arrangement or order and record their thinking.

    Activity Details

    1. Students will watch DJ Count by Jack Hartmann to practice counting to 100.
    2. Teacher will create collection tubs with 10-100 objects in each prior to this activity.
    3. Students are paired with high/medium and medium/low partners and instructed to work together to count objects in their collection tub.
    4. Students may use different tools on the carpet such as ten frames, a hundred chart, cups, or bowls if they would like to begin grouping items for more efficient counting, such as by fives or tens.
    5. Students will discuss with their partner how many objects they counted in the collection tub and the strategy used to count.
    6.  Students will use a recording sheet or their math journal to record how many objects are in their collection tub and illustrate their thinking.
    7. Teacher will observe and stop the class to have a mini-lesson highlighting a certain way that a group has organized their collection (by fives or tens) to count more efficiently.
    8. Teacher will share a group's math journal or recording sheet with the class discussing how the group counted and how they recorded their thinking.
    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will use questions to prompt student thinking:

    How many objects were in your collection?

    Can you prove that to me?

    Can you draw a picture to show how you counted?

    Check that students:

    1. are able to understand the concept of one-to-one correspondence.
    2. are able to record the number of items in their collection.
    3. are able to show grouping of objects.
    4. are able to discuss with their partner problem-solving skills to analyze and record their thinking.
    5. are able to record the strategy used to group objects.

    Variation Tips

    Once students are able to efficiently count their collection and record their thinking, then ask the students the following questions:

    1. How many would you have if I gave you more objects? (10, 20, 50, 100, 300, etc. help build place value)
    2. Can you show me another way to count your collection?
    3. How many would you have if I took __ objects away from your collection?
    4. Do you think you and your partner can equally share all of these objects? Why or why not?

    Approximate Duration

    Related Learning Activities

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Teacher will need to prepare collection tubs ranging from 10-100 objects in each tub. Collections may include buttons, small erasers, counters, colored tiles, colored bears, marker tops, straws, broken crayon pieces, etc.

    Each student will need a math journal or a recording sheet to write the number in their collection and show their thinking (How did the student group the collection?).

    Materials and Resources

    Digital Tools / Resources