How Many Do I See?

Use a School Readiness Activity to provide early mathematical thinking experiences for preschool children that will prepare them to do well in the early grades.

  • To make quantities to 5
  • To count to 5

Materials
Classroom materials such as chairs, crayons, pencils, books

Vocabulary
how many?
count

Literature Suggestion
Read Five Trucks by Brian Floca. As you read, help children count the trucks.

Warm-Up
Teach children the "Five Little Fire Trucks" finger play, in which they start with a thumb on one hand folded into the palm and fingers folded over the thumb.
    1 little fire truck (thumb up)
    2 little fire trucks (index finger up)
    3 little fire trucks (middle finger up)
    4 little fire trucks (ring finger up)
    5 little fire trucks all in a row (pinkie finger up)
    Back to the fire station all of you go! (Thumb into palm with fingers folded over the thumb.)

Teacher Tip: Over time, ask children to show you individual numbers of little fire trucks on their fingers to help build number concepts.

Procedure

  • Teach children to play a game called "I Spy." Model the game by saying, "I spy 3 chairs." Then go and touch 3 chairs while you count 1, 2, 3.
  • Continue the game, inviting children to touch and count items such as 5 chairs, 2 pencils, 3 crayons, 1 flag, 4 trucks, and 5 blocks.
Enrichment
Invite a child to be the one to say "I spy," and to check to see if another child correctly identifies and counts the items.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child easily counts classroom items to 5.
  • In Process - Child gets mixed up when counting beyond 2 or 3.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not count classroom items.