ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Counting on; an addition strategy

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Counting on; an addition strategy

This month's topic is addition.  I am just finishing up my addition unit and one of the most important addition strategies is "counting on".  Here's the basis of it:

This sure does beat putting 6 on your fingers and 5 on your fingers....then, realizing you don't have anymore fingers! :)  So hence the reason for putting the biggest number in your head first!

I made a fun game to help my students practice counting on.
Counting on cupcakes {copy on cardstock, cut, laminate}
Counting on cupcakes recording sheet

1. In pairs, one student chooses a card. They come up with the number sentence that would coincide with the card and write it down.
2. Both players put the greatest number in their head and the smallest number on their fingers and count on. They write the sum.
3. Then, the student who chose a card can check their answer by using their counting on cupcake card.  They touch the number and say it, then they touch each cupcake and count on.
4. The next student can choose a card and continue playing.
Click {here} to download the counting on poster
Click {here} to download the counting on cupcakes game 
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Clipart and/or font used with permission by DJ Inkers
Clipart used with freebie license by Scrappin Doodles


  1. Really like this printable. Thanks. In your opinion though, at what age should they be able to leave this method behind and just know the answer?


  2. Hi Megan! Well, I would say the end of 1st grade or the beginning of 2nd grade. AND it depends on the child and his/her needs. We do practice memorizing their math facts in 1st grade toward the end of the year! Hope that helps!

  3. We're working on counting on right now, so this will be great in my math station for next week! Thanks!

    Teachin' First

  4. what rubric did you use for this lesson

  5. Thank you this has really helped me