Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about addition and counting on. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Counting On topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching Counting On

Get On the Bus!
Line up chairs like seats on a bus. You can act as the bus driver and sit in the front. You can even use a hoop or a plate as the steering wheel. Then have a group of students get on the bus. Pretend to pick up 1, 2, or 3 more students. As the bus driver, ask the class to find out how many people are on the bus. “There were 5 students on the bus, and then 2 more students got on. How many students are on the bus now?” Have volunteers write a number sentence on the board. Continue with more examples and have other students take the driver’s seat and create the story problem.

Math Stories

Choose an addition number sentence, such as 8 + 2 = 10. Then challenge your students to write or tell a story that describes the number sentence. You can provide a model, such as “Once upon a time there were 8 mice who lived in a forest. One day, 2 mice from the city came to visit. All the mice had a picnic together. The 10 mice had fun playing.” Encourage your students to be creative. You may wish to have small groups or pairs create a story together and act it out in front of the class.

What’s in the Bag?

Give small groups a lunch bag. Have one student put counters inside the bag and writ the number on the front of the bag. Then have him or her present 0, 1, 2, or 3 additional counters. Have other students add to find the sum. The bag prevents students from counting each item one by one. Have group members work together to find the sum and use different strategies. You may want to provide number lines or hundred charts to help students add. Then have students swap roles until everyone has had a chance to put counters into the bag.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Counting On

Snacking On 1, 2, or 3

Almost every meal is an opportunity to have fun with math. Provide a small group of healthful snacks such as raisins, grapes, pretzels, or nuts. Present a group of raisins to your child and have him or her count on 1, 2, or 3 raisins to find the total. Write the number sentence together. You may want to let you child write the number sentence in yogurt on a plate, then wipe it away with the counters and eat them all as a snack.

May I Have One More?

Form a group of treats or toys and count them together. Then ask your child, “May I have one more, please?” Have your child add to the group and count up by one. You can repeat the activity asking for two or three more. Then you can switch roles with your child.