Today in 1st grade, we did a counting collections activity. One thing I am thinking about as I see this activity happening in K-2 classrooms, is the extension. While choosing questions for students who are struggling is difficult, choosing questions for those who are finished quickly, and correctly, I find just as difficult. What questions can we ask those students who organize, count and can explain their count perfectly?
I have been toying around with this idea for a bit. I have thought about asking them to combine collections, ask how many more they would need to get to another number or mentally adding tens and hundreds to their count.
Today, I tried asking a student how many more to get to another number. It was pretty cool and led to some more ideas. He and his partner ended with 292. I asked how many more to get to 300? 8. 350? 58. He could explain using the 8 to get to 300 and how to move forward from there. Because of other groups I wanted to chat with, I left him with 500, 652, 1,000, and 1,250. He came back with the answers, but no explanation and said, “I don’t feel like writing all of that out.” I asked him to explain how he got to 500 and I would record the equation for it. He said he added 8 to get to 300 and then 200 more to get to 500, so 208. He was shocked to see it as an equation because he thought I meant to explain it all out in words. I asked him to try the next one and he started with adding 10. He said he wanted to keep the 2 ones to make it easier, awesome. When he said that, I had another idea to have students think about what place values are changing as they add to a certain number. I want to ask him why he ended with 8 ones on three of them but zero ones in another?
I know I have seen tons of people on Twitter using counting collections and would love to hear of other ways we could extend this activity in the comments!