Kindergarten Counting Activities: Number Bootcamp

At the beginning of the school year, we need explicit, hands-on kindergarten counting activities so students can develop the necessary foundational skills for math. Number Bootcamp is exactly that! TKS BOOTCAMP’S Number Bootcamp uses explicit, systematic instruction to teach numbers, counting, one-to-one correspondence, and math vocabulary.

Number Bootcamp focuses on mastering numbers to 20, number recognition, number writing, one-to-one correspondence, counting to answer how many, and learning math vocabulary and various ways to represent numbers.

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Kindergarten Counting Activities: Number Bootcamp And The Science Of Math

Just like with reading and science, there is now a growing body of science about how students learn math skills. And what science is telling us is that students need explicit, systematic instruction with lots of examples, lots of guided practice, and independent practice. And with all of this, there needs to be dialogue. We should be talking about math, how we solved problems, the strategies we used, and math vocabulary. Number Bootcamp is built on this research.

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And yes, Number Bootcamp is EFFECTIVE! The data speaks for itself! You can see the tremendous growth. We went from 4% number recognition to 61% in 20 days. Counting went from 3% to 77% in 20 days. The number recognition growth is more impressive because my students do not speak English in the classroom.

Kindergarten Counting Activities: How Number Bootcamp Works

We do a number a day for 20 days.

Prior to class, I print and cut out all of the pieces that represent the numbers for the week. For example, if we’re doing numbers 1-5 this week, I would print and cut out the pieces for 1-6.I include 6 so we have two sets of numbers in the pocket chart on Friday.

Then I place the pieces for two numbers in our pocket chart. We will have pieces for numbers 1 and 2. I add pieces after each day to keep pieces for two or three numbers in the chart. I’ve found that this is a good amount of pieces and not too overwhelming for the kids.

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We identify the number and repeat the number several times.

number bootcamp kindergarten counting worksheets

The kids show me the correct amount of fingers. This makes a great informal assessment. Do they understand a number or a quantity, and can they count the correct amount?

We count our fingers. I explicitly model touching and counting my fingers. Then the students count their fingers. I ask how many.

We count to the number orally.

And then, we take turns finding the different representations of the number.

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When a student finds a representation of the number, we identify it by name (e.g., ten frame, domino, dice, tally marks, etc.). This builds math vocabulary.

We count the objects for each representation, explicitly modeling one-to-one correspondence. I also emphasize touching to count and going slow. This explicit modeling and practice teach our kids how to count and answer how many. Then we practiced our one-to-one correspondence and counted multiple times. I ask, “How many?’ and finally, I ask: “does it go on our circle chart? why or why not?” This brings in the necessary dialogue.

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After we make the circle charts, we go back and count and identify each piece. This provides the multiple practice opportunities that students need. For the ordinal number, we identify the friend who is in that position in line. This makes a great real-world, concrete connection for them!

Number Writing

Then, we do number writing. I explicitly model how to write the numbers using our document camera, and we practice air writing our numbers with our fingers. Then, students practice writing the numbers.

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Kindergarten Counting Activities: Small Group Math: Number Bootcamp

We use the student books in small groups to differentiate and meet the needs of all students. These books are perfect for working on one-to-one correspondence, number recognition, and counting! For our books, we use stickers! But you can have students draw pictures or use stamp pads and fingerprints!

kindergarten counting activities small group number bootcamp

Check out Number Bootcamp in action in our classroom!

Number Bootcamp is available in five themes:

For more ideas and resources, check out these posts:

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