Lesson plan

Using Counting Aids

Prepare students for more complex math skills and build their current math skills with this hands-on lesson.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Making a Number Line pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Making a Number Line pre-lesson.

Students will be able to create and use math aids (e.g., hundreds charts and number lines) to count.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Post a sample hundreds chart and number line in front of the classroom.
  • Call students together around the charts.
  • Ask students to turn to a partner and discuss a time they have seen these used or used one themselves.
  • After giving students a chance to share with partners, discuss their past experiences with these charts as a whole group.
  • Model how to use both a hundreds chart and number line to count, having the class count along with you as you point to the numbers.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that today they will have the opportunity to create a shared hundreds chart and their very own number lines! Before they begin to create their own number lines, students will need to practice writing their numbers.
  • Pass out whiteboards and whiteboard markers to students. Call out various numbers and have students write them on their boards, holding them up when they are done.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the prepared shower curtain containing the 100 squares to the class.
  • Explain that now the students will get to help you finish a class 100s chart!
  • Model how to find the first number (1) and think aloud to determine the missing numbers ("I know that 1 is the first number, 2 comes next, so I’ll write a 2 here and then a 3..." etc.).
  • Ask for students to help you fill in the missing numbers by having them say the missing numbers with you while you point to the blank spots on the chart.
  • Invite students up to write the numbers on the chart if they are able.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will get to fill in their own number line using the Preschool Number Line worksheet.
  • Display the worksheet and demonstrate how to trace and write the numbers to complete the number line.
  • Review any applicable classroom expectations (i.e., no running, using whisper voices, etc.) and make sure that everyone knows what is expected before sending students off to complete their own hundreds chart and number line.
  • Pass out worksheets and send students to work independently.
  • Circulate, answer questions, and assess student abilities while students are working.
  • Play quiet music in the background to set a good working mood and keep conversations to a minimum.
  • Post sample number lines and hundreds charts around the room can provide an aid to students as they work.


  • Pair students together to create a joint number line.
  • Provide number stickers or number stampers to help students struggling to properly form the numbers as they complete their number lines.


  • Encourage students to create a number line that goes beyond 20 or filling in a complete hundreds chart.
(5 minutes)
  • Take anecdotal notes about students' abilities to form numbers and create lines and charts. These can be used to make determinations about students' math knowledge and fine motor skills.
  • Assess student accuracy in writing numbers and creating by collecting completed work.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Have students check their work against a partner’s to make sure that all of the numbers match up.
  • Ask students to follow along on their number line as you read a book like 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street by Mark Lee.
  • Encourage students to brainstorm a list of places/times they could use their number lines and hundreds charts before they head off to the next activity!

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