Problem: How can I get kids to master skip counting?  I can’t spend several lessons on it.

Solution:  Skip counting takes repetitive  practice but it’s not something you would want to devote a whole lesson to many times throughout the year.  Instead, short, frequent skip counting routines can help all students master skip counting.  Skip counting lays the groundwork for counting money, telling time, and mental math.  Here are some skip counting routines to try when you have five minutes:

Choral Counting – Skip count out loud as a whole class.  Use a number chart if needed. Count both forward and backward.  Instead of starting at a low number, start in the 50s or 100s.  Count in a macho man voice, a robot voice, a princess voice, etc. to keep it fun.  This routine has the highest level of support so even struggling students can start to catch on.

Count Around the Circle – Students stand in a circle.  Go around the circle having each student say the next number in the skip counting sequence.  Establish the expectation that every needs to count in their head even if they aren’t counting out loud.  If a student gets stuck everyone else needs to give that student “wait time.”  If they need help the teacher can help them.  Try going forward and backward.  Try the same sequence but see if you can get around the circle faster and faster.

Write it – Give student the first few numbers in a skip counting sequence and have them continue writing it on their own.  This could be fun with whiteboards.   You could give students a minute at a time to write and see if they can get farther in the sequence each time.

*While skip counting by 25s (to 100) and 15s (to 60) is not in the Common Core standards, it helps kids with counting quarters and telling time.

For more skip counting fun here is a FREEBIE:

Here is a number sense FREEBIE (including a skip counting page):

And some more skip counting practice (\$1):

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Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun is a former teacher with 8 years of experience in the classroom and a master's degree in early childhood education. She designs engaging, organized classroom resources for 1st-3rd grade teachers.

1. Felecia says:

Thanks for this information. It is a challenge to teach regrouping. I’m currently learning to teach math the ‘CGI’ way. Open number lines fit right in!

2. Felecia says:

Sorry! Commented in the wrong place. The skip counting information is great! I have a couple of little ones who need the additional help.

• Thanks, Felecia!