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Goody Bags

Alignments to Content Standards: K.CC.B.4



  • Many small ziplock bags of counting objects (the “goodies”). Each bag should contain a number of objects in the counting sequence students are working on, between 1 and 20.

  • Post-it notes and pencils.


Students count the objects, record the number on the post-it note and stick the post-it note onto the outside of the bag.

Students can work in pairs to scaffold their counting, and teachers should take care that at least one student in each pair is a confident counter and at least one student is a confident writer. Students can be provided with a number line to aid in writing the numbers. If the teacher is concerned that students cannot write the numbers independently s/he can write the quantities on post-it notes ahead of time and let the students choose the post it note that goes with each goody bag.

IM Commentary

Like “K.CC Color Week” and "K.CC Number Rods," this task aims to give students practice counting and recording the given number on quantities up to 20.

Teachers should take care to provide a variety of different sized objects in assorted quantities. For example, some bags should contain a larger number of smaller objects while others contain a smaller number of larger objects so that students have experiences that show them small doesn’t always equal less/big doesn’t always equal more.

This activity can be done without direct teacher supervision. It would be well suited to a math stations time where an adult (teacher, parent, classroom aid) is in close proximity to provide corrective feedback but does not need to be led by the teacher.

If the teacher would like to extend the activity s/he can ask the students to line the bags up in order from the least number to the greatest number once they have finished labeling them. Care must be taken to make sure the students understand what we mean by least and greatest. There are many ways they could confuse the issue, for example, least in size, or least in weight. It must be made clear that what is meant is least in number.