We have been learning how to skip count in my Kindergarten classroom for the past 2 weeks and the students have had a BLAST! You know how much I love adding a fun twist to any traditional instruction, so we even made a few trips outside to practice skip counting in a kinesthetic way… with Skip Count Hopscotch!
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I have more information about the hopscotch to share with you further down in the post, but before my students could hop, they needed to gain an understanding of skip counting and visualize the process for how it works. So let’s start with the basics…
Skip Count Anchor Charts
I began my skip counting unit by adding a few colorful charts to my classroom calendar area. One chart was added for each skip counting set: counting by 10s, 5s, and 2s.
Learning to Skip Count
Even before the fancy charts were added to the classroom, my students were gaining confidence in counting by 10s and 5s. We started counting by 10s as we prepared for our 100th day of school and we use tallies each day to mark the date on our classroom calendar.
Once the children started to gain confidence in counting orally by 10s, we started with our first Rainbow Skip Count page. The class and I worked together to fill in the missing count by 10 numbers on a 100 chart, using the big classroom chart as a reference. I modeled this process in our calendar area, and each child gathered on the floor around me to complete the page with me.
As a finishing touch, students use a personal skip counting chart to trace their skip count numbers with markers or crayons to make it a rainbow counting page. In addition to the class anchor chart, each student was given a smaller 8.5×11 laminated student chart that showed the rainbow colors as a guide.
Here you can see a child proudly displaying her rainbow numbers in front of our class skip counting charts.
The next day we were ready to skip count by 5s. My students have certainly had less practice skip counting by 5s so this activity was more of a challenge for them.
Differentiated Skip Counting Activities
The great thing about my Rainbow Skip Counting pack is that it is DIFFERENTIATED. Students that have already figured out the pattern for skip counting by 5s can complete a skip count by 5s pack with lots of blank spaces. Students that are still working to gain the skill can begin by tracing numbers on the chart that are gray instead of blank. It’s a great way to provide a little extra support for those who need it.
Once several students have mastered skip counting by 5s, we were ready to move onto skip counting by 2s! This skill is a particularly big one to master, so I break it into a few parts. The entire class started with a simple skip counting page that only went up to 40. This was a good first step. Several student writing pages for skip counting by twos are available in the pack to differentiate for the various needs of your students.
After any page from the pack is complete, I ask students to read their numbers and skip count for me. If students are able to skip count quickly, fluently, and easily, I know they are ready for a more challenging activity. For students who were quick to skip count by twos up to 40, it was time for a BIG challenge: going all the way up to 100!
The rainbow design of the skip counting charts is a valuable tool for helping students keep track of the rows on the chart, but it is ESPECIALLY valuable for the skip count by 2s chart. There are SO many numbers and it is very easy for students to become lost or overwhelmed while they work. The rainbow rows remind students that they are on the orange row, or the blue row, or the dark green row and helps them to remain on task in the correct row with minimal confusion.
Skip counting by 2s up to 100 is quite an accomplishment!
Differentiated Rainbow Skip Counting is available in my TpT store for $4. It has everything you need to help your students rainbow their way into skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s: teacher charts, student charts, and student practice pages.
Skip Count Hopscotch
Paper and pencil activities can be very valuable (especially when I let my students use markers) but I wanted to add a kinesthetic element to our skip counting unit. One day while were were outside for playtime, I brought some sidewalk chalk outside and set about the task of quickly drawing a hopscotch board that would count by 5s. I had a few girls that were VERY curious and eager to help. All I had to do was draw a quick outline and add the numbers to the spaces. My little helpers happily grabbed some chalk of their own and traced all of my numbers and lines to make them more bold. The entire board took less than 15 minutes to complete. Then the REAL fun began!
To help my students HEAR the number patterns and gain fluency while they skip counted, I made sure each child recited the numbers allowed while they hopped.
You can purchase a 48 pack of Crayola brand sidewalk chalk on Amazon for less than $8!
This was a great follow-up to the Hop by 10s hopscotch I created an an indoor option for our 100th day of school.
You can read all about how I created the indoor hopscotch board and download FREE number printables to create your own Hop by 10s board.
Do you have a great tip or activity for skip counting in the classroom?
Please leave a comment telling me what you do… I would love to hear your ideas!