Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Counting Jars In Kindergarten: A Numeracy Framework

One of the frameworks that I use in Kindergarten is counting 
jars. Some key elements of this framework is that it provides a process for children to build relationships, have choice, naturally encourages reflection and is playful.

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. They keep going until the end of the math period.

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 time observing, asking questions and nudging children to use different counting strategies. I can use the data that I collect to plan extensions and interventions for children and implement them at other times of the day. I can also use the anchor chart to help plan future mini lessons.

Some of the what's next ideas will include larger collections, making a record and figuring out the numbers beyond what they currently know. I have added some links below for other sources of information if you are interested in Reggio Inspired Mathematics.

SD38 Math and Science 
Reggio Math 


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