Friday, February 21, 2014

Bright Math Ideas Blog Hop: Skip Counting

I'm joining some of my awesome blog friends to share some bright math ideas. Each blogger will feature a great math idea as well as a fun freebie! I'm An Adventure in Literacy, but I do teach math everyday in first grade, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve for math too! My firsties are currently working on skip counting, so I thought I'd share a few fun ideas and a counting by 10s FREEBIE game!

One of my favorite skip counting activities is to rock out to skip counting songs during calendar. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jack Hartmann's Counting By 5s and Counting By 2s songs. You can find these on his Math All Around Me CD.  I have my kiddos hold up 2 or 5 fingers on their hand and cross their midline as we rock out...always trying to get that whole brain working!

My favorite math author is Stuart J. Murphy. If you are not familiar with his Math Start books you need to book it to his website...NOW! He has all kinds of great teacher resources on his site.  I met Stuart at the 2003 IRA conference and have been in love with his books ever since.  Somewhere I have a Sony Mavica picture of us circa 2003.  It would be a great throw back Thursday if I can ever find it!  He has math stories to go along with every math topic and the kids absolutely love them! Two that I really enjoy for skip counting are "Leaping Lizards" and "Spunky Monkeys on Parade"

We love playing games in my room. My kiddos enjoy playing Garbage. I learned this fun game at a math conference many years ago. The basic idea is to use a deck of cards, set up a tens frame face down, and try to get the numbers in order from 1-10. Throw in some cute seasonal cards and you've got a great, easy center!

To play, each player lays out 10 cards face down in a tens frame (2 rows of 5). Put the rest of the cards in a draw pile face down in the middle. The first player draws a card, says the number and places it face up in the correct spot on the tens frame and picks up the face down card. Say the number on the card that was picked up and move it to the correct spot. If there is a face down card there, replace it and continue playing. If there is already a number there, say “garbage” and put the card in the discard pile. Your turn is over. The first player to get all ten cards in numerical order first wins.

The directions are wordy, but it really is a simple games that the kids pick up on quickly.  Good old wikihow has directions for the game as well as videos here. They refer to it as trash, but same basic idea. I also teach my kids how to play it cooperatively with one tens frame working together.

Once we've gotten really good at Garbage 1-10, I introduce Skip Counting Garbage. It's the same game, just with skip counting cards. 

I created a Skip Counting Garbage Pack which includes the following games:
-Counting by 10s (10-100)
-Counting by 5s (5-50 and 55-100)
-Counting by 2s (2-20, 22-40, 42-60, 62-80, 82-100)
-Counting by 100s (100-1000)
Games can also be combined to make a "mega game" (ie-counting by 5s 5-100 with 4 rows of 5)
Color cards and black line cards are included for each game.
You can check out Skip Counting Garbage here.

I also like to pass out the skip counting cards and have the kids get themselves in order.  A little chaotic the first few times, but then they start to get the hang of it!

As a thank you for stopping by you can grab a FREEBIE of Skip Counting Garbage by 10s here. It includes cards for 10-100. 

Be sure to follow along with my future adventures on facebook, pinterest, instagram, or TPT. Head on to the next blog and enjoy a great math tip and freebie from Wigglin' in Kinder


  1. Love the garbage idea! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  2. Thanks for the freebie! Got the whole one in my cart! Thank you also for the website for Stuart Murphy! Love his books!

  3. I love those Stuart Murphy books, too! Thanks for sharing your ideas and freebie!

  4. Love this idea! I'm so happy to have found your blog through this blog hop....I'm your newest follower through email so that I don't miss a post! I look forward to getting to know you and learn from you :)

    Stephanie Ann
    Sparkling in Kindergarten

  5. Love, Love, Love the skip counting garbage game! I will definitely be purchasing in the near future! My third graders taught me how to play garbage at the beginning of the year and it's still a go to for a few moments of free time before the next transition. How clever to incorporate skip counting!! Any plans on making skip counting garbage for 6, 7, 8, 9, ?