EL Support Lesson

Keeping Count

Help your students learn about keeping track of numbers using one-to-one correspondance in this fun lesson!
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Over in the Meadow Counting Practice lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Over in the Meadow Counting Practice lesson plan.

Students will be able to use one-to-one correspondence to count objects up to 10.


Students will be able to explain how to keep track of objects while counting.

(10 minutes)
  • Gather students together for a read-aloud.
  • Read the book Bear Counts. As you read, pause to point and count the individual objects on each page. Model counting each object individually.
  • Encourage students to either count with you chorally or echo count after you.
  • Say, "Today we are going to practice counting and keeping track of our numbers while we count."
(5 minutes)
  • Ask, "How many kids are in this class?" Allow for students to think for a moment and offer up ideas to the group if they are comfortable.
  • Invite students to come to the front one at a time and model how to count each person one time.
  • Use a number line or hundreds chart to demonstrate one method of keeping track as you count.
  • Provide a non-example here. Recount the students again. This time count one of the students twice and pause to check if anyone notices.
  • Explain that it is important to keep track while you count to make sure you only count each person one time.
  • Tell the class that there are many ways to keep track while counting, the important thing is to count each person or thing one time only.
(8 minutes)
  • Display a group of objects (e.g., buttons) to the class and ask, "How can I figure out how many buttons there are?"
  • Place a large number line on the floor in full view of the group.
  • Ask the the students to count aloud with you as you place each object under the corresponding number on the number line. Write the total number on the board.
  • Say, "We just used one strategy to make sure we counted each button only one time. Can anyone think of another way we could keep track while counting?"
  • Tell students to turn and talk to share ideas of ways they could keep track while counting. Answers might include: Moving objects to a pile after counting, using a finger to keep track of number on the number line, using a hundreds chart, placing the objects into a bucket, basket, or bowl, etc.
  • Choose one of the methods suggested above or by a student and recount the same group of items. Have students count with you and note if the total amount is the same as the first time.
  • Say, "You can use different strategies and come up with the same answer. The most important thing is to make sure you are only counting each item one time."
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will get to practice counting with a partner. Tell students that they can choose which strategy to use, but must only count each item only one time to find the total number of objects. Once they have the total, ask them to count again using a different strategy to see if they come up with the same total.
  • Pair students together and pass out a group of objects (8-10) to each pair. Provide optional number lines or hundreds chart for reference.


  • Work in teacher led small group to practice one-to-one correspondence when counting objects.
  • Provide group led exploration of strategies when counting (e.g., have the whole group count with you as you move items into different piles once counted).
  • Have students count in their home language (L1).


  • Have students practice counting to 100.
  • Ask students to pair share with a partner to explain how they might keep track of a larger quantity of items.
(5 minutes)
  • Take anecdotal notes throughout the lesson to capture student thinking and learning process.
  • Ask students guiding questions to assess their understanding: "How many?" "How do you know?" "Can you show me how you kept track while counting?"
(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and close by counting one more group of items chorally.
  • Ask students to share out ideas for how you could keep track while counting (review strategies as needed).

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