Friday, February 6, 2015

How Important is Skip Counting in 2nd Grade?

We're just starting to learn about multiplication in 2nd grade and I started by reviewing skip counting. One of my students said, "Mrs. Palmer, you said we are going to learn about multiplication, so why are we doing skip counting? We did this in 1st grade."

What a perfect question! Of course, he was right. I work across the hall from a 1st grade teacher and I hear those kiddos skip counting every morning! Students with strong skip counting skills will have a much easier time in many mathematical areas, including multiplication.

One thing I wanted to students to be able do in this unit of study is identify patterns. First, I wanted students to be able to see the patterns when skip counting and to be able to identify what they are skip counting by. We did a little warm up/review and then we started math centers.

One thing I love to give students in their math centers are task cards. They are easy to prep and store and multiple students can use them at once. This week I used Skip Counting Scavenger Hunt by Primary Essentials.

Side Note: You need to check out Francheryl's store! She has tons of these Scavenger Hunts that focus on different skills. This product is normally only $2.50 which is a STEAL because you also get an editable version that you can make endless variations with!

These task cards are meant to be used as a scavenger hunt with the cards taped up around the room. I love giving students opportunities to get moving during math, but since I already had a couple of high energy math games going on at the same time, I decided to use them as a center at one of my tables.

I demonstrated how to use them and because they were a little different than the task cards I usually make for them, they were excited! They thought they were cool and asked me to thank whoever made them. How cute is that? In this set, there are 4 versions of skip counting so you can use them at various times throughout your unit. I also love that the recording sheet is compact (3 to a page) and I used way less paper than my usual full recording sheet. The best part is that this product includes an editable version! This is an awesome and simple way to differentiate for your higher and lower achieving students. I plan to make a set of cards with 3 digit numbers for my high achievers and a set of cards that focus solely on skip counting by 3's because I observed several students struggling a bit with this.

Here's an even better part! If you leave a comment on this post (with your email) by Sunday at midnight, I will pick TWO winners to get this product for FREE! If you don't feel lucky, you can still grab them up for 50% off through Sunday! That is just $1.25!!!!
We all know that kids learn in different ways. I strive to meet the needs of all my kiddos by providing information visually, through songs and videos, orally and kinesthetically. I showed a couple of these skip counting videos, had the kids skip count orally while using hand motions, and of course we wrote our numbers in our notebooks.

For some of my struggling students, we'll physically count groups of objects. We also search for patterns within each skip counting series and color those patterns on hundreds charts. All this is in preparation for learning the conceptual understanding of multiplication.

Come back soon for another post about teaching arrays.

If you'd like to check out some other products that real teachers have reviewed, click the links below!


  1. Oh wow, this looks great! My students would love this!

  2. I agree with Mrs Brown - this looks great! I'm going to have to check this out in her store! Thanks for joining in the product swap!

    Learning to be awesome

  3. This is the skill my kiddos are working on right now. The for sharing her stuff with us.

  4. Hello! Suzy Palmer, You did once again great job, every time I visit this blog and i found some interesting post :)
    Nice Post and Keep Sharing
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