Counting Jars In Kindergarten: A Numeracy Routine

One of the numeracy routines that I use in Kindergarten is counting 
jars. I have about 40 small jars with collections ranging in number
from 5 to 10 for early in the year and then gradually add jars with
larger numbers as they are ready. I also have about 40 larger collections. Once weekly the children spend part of an afternoon choosing a few jars and counting the objects. One interesting note is that after the first couple of afternoons the children began to estimate jars which they thought would have numbers that they could manage. Some of the children on Friday were estimating how many objects were in the line before they counted. 

I introduced the routine in September and randomly assigned children as partners. Then beginning in October they were assigned a math partner for the year and rotate being A or B each month. 

Partner A chooses 2 or 3 jars while Partner B chooses a quiet place in the room. Together they can either work side by side or cooperatively to count the number of objects in each jar. Then Partner A returns to the table and trades the jars for some new ones and they begin again.

Counting Map
On Friday I added a second step and asked the children to each choose the number for one of their jars and write their name and number in a circle. This encouraged them to challenge themselves.

Using a Five Frame

The children are using a variety of counting strategies such as making a line, touch and count, make a new pile. To support them the children have access to five frames, ten frames, egg cartons, mini foil tart pans and felt leaves to help with counting by twos or 1:1 correspondence. 

As the children are now working independently, I am able to spend the time observing, asking questions and nudging children to use different counting strategies. This week we will begin our draft anchor chart of the counting strategies which they are using. Then I can use the anchor chart for mini lessons based on my assessment.

Some of the what's next ideas will include larger collections, making a record and figuring out the numbers beyond what they currently know.

SD38 Math and Science has lots of great posts about Reggio Math. Their book, Reggio Math is an excellent resource for primary teachers beginning their Reggio journey.


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