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Counting Collections - Count to 100

For the 100th day of our Covid-19 quarantine kindergarten, my kids and I created counting collections of 100 items.

As part of kindergarten standard K.CC.A.1 in the US kids must count to 100 by ones and tens. The 100th day of school is the perfect time to practice counting to 100 and to create student led counting collections that expand kids number sense and challenge them to count higher than they have before!

counting collections to 100

What Are Counting Collections?

A counting collection is any number of objects that you count out and put together. It can be a collection of a specific kind of object, or it can be different sets of objects.

You can start with a number in mind, like we did with counting to 100, or you can work towards discovering how many of an object you have.

In order to be successful completing a counting collection, kids will have to keep track of what they counted and count orally with one to one correspondence.

Kids of any age can participate in counting collections, as there is no specific end number. Create a collection of 20, 50, 100, or more!

Our 100th day of Kindergarten Counting Collections:

One hundred is a BIG number so for a counting collection to work, children must have a way of keeping track of what they have counted. This could be through providing a pen and paper or creating a system to separated counted from uncounted objects.

Though kids usually come up with their own systems, we used a ten frame because it was my oldest child's first time counting to 100, and a ten frame is a great way to show ten groups of 10! It's also an easy way to check your work without having to start all the way at the beginning.

How we counted to 100 using a ten frame:

  1. First we made a giant ten frame out of blue painters tape. Then we counted the 10 boxes in the ten frame...that's why it's called a ten frame, after all!
  2. Next I explained that 100 is a big number but we were going to break it into groups so that we can keep track as we count. 100 is ten groups of 10! If we make ten groups of 10, we will have 100 objects. What items should we use for our first group of 10?
  3. My kids put 10 items in each square.
  4. As they complete each group of ten, together count by tens to measure progress. Only 5 groups done? Count to 50 by tens.
  5. Once they have 10 groups of 10, celebrate by counting to one hundred! You can count all the objects by ones or tens.
100th day of school counting collection activity

How we counted to one hundred using a 100's mat:

  1. For this second activity, I printed out a snacktivity mat that had ten circles drawn on it. It's easy to make your own.
  2. Next I got out a bowl of Cheerios and shared with my kids that we would be counting 100 Cheerios.
  3. I asked them to problem solve how we would keep track, reminding my eldest that we used a ten frame the previous day.
  4. She remembered that 100 is ten groups of 10 and suggested putting 10 Cheerios in each circle.
  5. As the kids worked on their counting collections of Cheerios, they checked their work by counting each group once it was completed, "10, 20, 30, 40..."
  6. Once they filled the 10 circles, they had completed their counting collections of 100 Cheerios!
count to 100, counting collection of cheerios

Some guiding questions while counting to 100:

  • Is this bigger or smaller than what you thought 100 looked like?
  • How do you know that this is 100? How can we check?
  • What's your favorite way to count to 100?
  • My kids loved having our Echo Dot count by 10's with us, because it says "Tada!" at the end.

Why are counting collections important?

Counting collections are more than just counting orally as high as you can. Rather they are opportunities to develop number sense- the understanding of how numbers relate to one another.

For example, Big Sis sometimes put more than 10 objects in the ten frame. I would point it out and she would have to count backwards or sometimes remove objects and recount the whole group. When should couldn't find enough of a certain object, we would ask ourselves, "Hmmm, how many more do we need to get to ten in that box?"

Not only was she counting, she was relating numbers to one another, problem solving, and doing addition and subtraction.

Also, not much time is spent in younger years counting to large numbers. Spending time counting to higher numbers helps kids to conceptualize what quantities look like. So often, those large numbers seem unfathomable to children. 100 seems like such a HUMONGOUS number to preschoolers and kindergartners, but doing a counting collection in a ten frame breaks it down into smaller groups.

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