EL Support Lesson

Ways to Represent Skip Counting

There are many ways to represent skip counting, so help students find their chosen method! Use this as a stand alone lesson or as a pre-lesson for *Skip Counting to Understand Multiplication*.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Skip Counting to Understand Multiplication lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Skip Counting to Understand Multiplication lesson plan.

Students will be able to use skip counting as a strategy to multiply two single-digit factors.


Students will be able to explain different representations of skip counting using visual aids and sentence starters.

(2 minutes)
  • Ask students to think about a common activity in which they all participate, such as getting to school each morning. Have them think of a few words or a short sentence to describe how they get to school, and direct them to share that information with a partner.
  • Tell the class that you overheard several different ways that people get to school (e.g., riding the bus, riding in a car, walking, etc.), but the thing you noticed is that everyone has the same goal: get to school. Point out that everyone achieves the same goal each morning since they get to school, but that they use different ways to get there.
  • Add that mathematics, and specifically multiplication, has many different methods for finding an answer. Share the Language Objective for today's lesson, and share that students will look at different methods of skip counting as a way to find answers to multiplication problems.
(7 minutes)
  • Give a definition of skip counting by displaying the Vocabulary Card on the document camera. Tell students that they will focus on skip counting today to find the answer to a multiplication problem, and everyone will have the opportunity to practice the different methods of skip counting.
  • Teach the other vocabulary words (factor, multiply, product) and share that these words are important to use as they explain the multiplication problem and their process of skip counting.
  • Write 2 x 5 on the board and ask students to help you label the parts of the expression. Then, explain that the expression means "two groups of five." Ask students to discuss the different ways they could represent this multiplication expression. Collect students' answers and model using them to get students in the multiplication mindset.
  • Put students into partnerships and have them practice using the words in their own sentences. Allow them to use their whiteboards and whiteboard markers to create visuals to accompany their sentences.
(8 minutes)
  • Remind the class that today's focus is skip counting as a strategy to solve multiplication problems. Tell them that eventually, skip counting will be done in their heads, but as they become comfortable with the strategy, they should skip count on paper.
  • Create an anchor chart with student input of the different methods for skip counting. Focus on drawing equal groups, using a hundreds chart, and a number line.
  • Return to the example multiplication problem of 2 x 5. Talk through solving this multiplication problem with each of the different skip counting methods:
    • 1 - Drawing equal groups -- Draw two circles and put five dots inside of each circle. Write the number five under each of the circles and skip count aloud. Explain that the drawing represents two groups of five.
    • 2 - Using a hundreds chart -- Display the Hundreds Chart worksheet on the document camera and shade in the five and then the 10. Explain that this represents two groups of five. Also, share that the second factor is five, so you can count by fives on the hundreds chart.
    • 3 - Number line -- Draw a number line and label it with numbers 0-15 with intervals of one. Model jumping from zero to five, and then from five to 10. Point out that those jumps represent two groups, or jumps, of five.
  • Invite students to participate in talking through the three skip counting methods for a new multiplication expression. (e.g., 3 x 7) Ask questions to prompt deeper thinking and elicit more thorough explanation:
    • Which factor is represented here?
    • How are these methods similar/different?
    • How is skip counting represented in this method?
(10 minutes)
  • Display the Vocabulary Card for the word multiply again, and remind the class that they all have the same goal in today's lesson. They are going to multiply two factors to get a product. However, they are going to now work on using the different methods of skip counting in order to achieve the goal of multiplying.
  • Reference the anchor chart and tell students that they should utilize it during this activity to help them focus on their given strategy.
  • Divide the class into groups of three students. Assign each individual a number from one to three, and explain that you will show them a multiplication problem on the board. Tell them that they will represent the multiplication fact using the skip counting method assigned to them based on the number on the anchor chart.
    • 1 - Drawing equal groups
    • 2 - Using a hundreds chart
    • 3 - Number line
  • Hand out a copy of the Hundreds Chart worksheet to each student and tell them that they will use the worksheet only when they are practicing that skip counting method. Instruct students that are practicing the other methods to use a piece of blank paper to record their work.
  • Write a multiplication problem (e.g., 5 x 4) on the board and direct students to use their assigned skip counting method to find the answer. Give the class two more multiplication facts (e.g., 4 x 7 and 5 x 8) and have them change their number (i.e., a student who was assigned #1 Drawing equal groups for the first problem should be assigned #2 Using a hundreds chart for the second problem).
  • Instruct students to share their hundreds charts and papers with their group members so they can check each other's work. Provide the following sentence stems to support student sharing:
    • I wrote/drew ____.
    • This shows the ____ method of skip counting because ____.
    • I like/dislike this method because ____.
    • I think this method is easy/hard because ____.
    • I think this method is helpful/unhelpful because ____.
  • Facilitate a class discussion about the methods with the whole class.


  • Allow access to reference materials in home language (L1).
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher.
  • Provide a word bank of key terms, phrases, and sentence starters for students to use in group and class discussions.
  • Group students intentionally based on academic and language needs.
  • Give students their own set of Vocabulary Cards to use as a reference throughout the lesson.


  • Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
  • Have students describe their math processes without relying on the sentence stems/frames.
  • Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
  • Put students in mixed ability groups so they can offer explanations and provide feedback to beginning ELs when appropriate.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student an index card for the Exit Ticket. Display a multiplication expression on the board (e.g., 5 x 6).
  • Instruct students to find the answer using one of the methods of skip counting.
(3 minutes)
  • Have students turn and talk to a partner to share the method they chose. Provide a sentence frame for them to complete in their conversation. For example, "I chose the method of ____ to solve the problem because ____."
  • Remind students that skip counting is an important multiplication strategy, and that as we become more advanced mathematicians, skip counting will happen as part of mental math. Share that when we need to step back and see a visual, these three methods will be helpful to keep us moving toward a solution as we solve math problems.

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