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Counting by Tens

Alignments to Content Standards: K.CC.A.1



This activity can be done several times a day as it is quick and requires no materials. The objective of this lesson is to gain automaticity counting to 100 and to establish the importance of multiples of ten. The final goal of this lesson is for students to be able to count by tens and articulate the term for this.

For the first week of this activity have students count to 100 chorally. On each number students clap with their hands in front of them (a normal clap) and whisper the number. For each multiple of ten (10, 20, 30, etc) have students clap above their heads and say the number loudly.

After students are very comfortable with this routine and can effortlessly count to 100 ask students what would happen if you only counted the numbers where they clap above their heads. Students can try this out. Ask the students what we might call this (you will get answers such as “ten counting”) guide students by asking appropriate/ leading questions until they come up with the term “counting by tens” on their own.

Once students have graduated to counting by tens practice this skill often and quickly.

IM Commentary

If the class masters counting by tens the teacher could move on to counting by fives. However s/he should introduce counting by fives with a different physical movement so as to differentiate the two.