“Today we are going to explore equal groups.” Flash (for about 3 seconds) a set of 12 chips arranged in 3 groups of 4. Ask students, “How many chips did you see?” Ask children to share how they figured out how many chips they saw. Try the process again, but this time have 6 groups of 2. If students are still trying to count by 1s after a few tries, continue using the set of 12 or 14 arranged in different ways.
Take out the dot cards (M-2-4-1_Dot Cards.docx) for 2s and the class number line (M-2-4_Number Line.docx). Place each dot card down as you point on the number line (or draw your jumps). Say, “Let’s see how many groups of 2 we have. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20.” Then ask, “What do you notice about what happened on the number line each time I placed a dot card down. What do you notice about the numbers you see?”
Repeat these steps using the dot cards for 3s. If students need more practice you can continue the process with 4s and 5s.
Explain to students that they will be working in pairs to practice counting equal groups. Show students the sets of dot cards each partner group will get (sets of 2s, 3s, 4,s or 5s). (If you have done a lot of work with ten-frames, encourage students to place cards out with 5 on top and 5 on the bottom similar to a ten-frame.) Have another student model the activity with you. One partner will grab anywhere from 2 cards to the total number of cards they each have. They will begin by placing them face up and asking, “How many dots? How do you know your answer is correct?” (I know my answer is correct because I counted 3 rows, each row had 3, and that makes 9 all together.) Once both partners are fluent, they can then turn the dot cards face down and place them out, asking each time, “How many dots?” The only difference here is that students will not be able to actually count the dots. For example, if a partner group is working with a set of dot cards for 3s, and they put 4 cards face down, they should know that this means 12 dots are hidden. Students will record their progress on the self-evaluation I Can sheet (M-2-4-1_I Cans.docx).
- Routine 1: Flash equal groups on the overhead or document camera. Ask students “How many dots/shoes/etc.? How do you know your answer is correct?”
- Routine 2: When you have a few minutes (transition times, before or after lunch, etc.) play the game Cherry Pie to reinforce the concept of skip-counting. (This game is a lot like the spelling game Sparkle.)
Students will sit in a circle. Choose the number students will count by (2, 3, 4, 5, 10, or 100) and the starting/ending number (__ to __). One student will say the first number; then the next student will say the next number in the sequence. Continue until you reach the last number. For example, tell students to count by 5s from 5 to 100. The first student will say “5,” the person next to him/her will say “10,” and so on around the circle (15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100). The next student after the student who says “100” will say “Cherry Pie,” and the next student after that is out. (If you prefer that students don’t go “out,” you can have the student who said “Cherry Pie” do a challenge to stay in the game.)
This game can be used to practice counting by any number.
- Small Group: Students can continue to practice equal groups by rolling a number cube two times. The first roll represents the number of dots, and the second roll would represent the number of groups.
- Expansion: When students are confident, you can work with them while flashing the dot cards to see how they figure out how many dots.