Monday, March 31, 2014

Get the Beat to Count by 2s

As a teacher, I know a good way to teach almost anything is through music and rhythm-- our brain just works that way.  As a storyteller, I know the best way to get a group to join in with anything is by using an echo chant. So this is how I teach rote counting by 2s... think four count beat:

...and so on. As the kids learn it, you drop the echo and there they are, counting all the way up by twos.

When I first came to the district teachers were using the old "two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate" rhyme, but for me there were too many extra words, and the kids had a difficult time dropping them out. When I started saying just the numbers, the kids got it amazingly fast. We count all the way to 100 now as this particular pattern lends itself so well to that. That emphasis on the change of tens is a nice bonus... and the kids love being able to do it.

This little ditty of a learning chant can be pulled out of your mental pocket when waiting in line, getting out snack, anytime you have a minute. It is also a great way for kids to be the teacher– they love leading the echo. Very empowering.

One thing to note, I do sometimes use this rote counting technique while pointing to the number line or hundreds grid just so students see the fourteen and twenty as whole numbers, not broken up by syllable. Seeing the numbers they are counting, and the visual pattern they make, helps with all counting.

Give it a try! I bet your kiddos become two counting wizzes! Leave a comment with how it goes, and I'd love to hear other ways you do it.

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