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Counting Mat

Alignments to Content Standards: K.CC.B.4



  • Counting Mats

  • Small objects to count, such as bears or tiles.


The teacher gives students the counting mat and many small objects to count with. Some students will automatically read the numbers and assemble the correct number of object then match them to the dots on the counting mat to verify they counted correctly. Other students who need more scaffolding will match each object to a dot. Students who do it this way should be guided to count the objects once they have assembled them on the dots. Once a student is done with each number they can move on to the next number. The teacher should do a quick check of a student's work before the student begins working on the larger numbers.

Counting_mat_6ea26a5ab06056e0717de4fb15abef16 2_39742feb881e2719e95d9bcdf5aff7da

IM Commentary

The teacher can print the counting mats, copy them as double-sided copies with 1-6 on the front and 7-12 on the back, and then laminate them so they can be reused. The mats can also be copied onto larger paper (such as 11x17 paper). This task will probably be used at the start of the kindergarten year and some children may benefit from the larger size mat as their fine-motor skills are still developing.

This task gives students another way to practice counting and gain fluency with connecting a written number with the act of counting. This task should be introduced by the teacher and would then be a good independent center. The number mat could be made with a different counting sequence if the teacher desires.

Attached Resources

  • Number Mat
  • Solution

    Students must correctly match up the number of objects to the dots and the number.

    Cam says:

    over 5 years


    Stacie Kaichi-Imamura says:

    over 5 years

    Question: With this particular activity, how would I know if my students had a firm understanding of K.CC.B.4c (Understanding that each successive number refers to a quantity that is one larger). Perhaps after the students do this activity at least once, I should make sure that I ask them questions such as, "What do you notice about the number that comes right after the previous number (e.g., what do you notice about the number of counters that you put under the number 5 and the number of counters you put under the number 6?" I think this would be helpful for me to know that the students will be paying attention to the pattern in the numbers and that there is one more than the previous number.

    Georgia Wood, Teacher says:

    over 5 years

    Hi Stacie, thanks for your question! I think your suggestion is great. When I do this activity in my classroom I try and observe my students doing the activity and ask questions as they are working. I usually let students do this activity a few times during the fall and I think that as their understanding of numbers deepens they notice different things. For example in September a student might just be able to match up the counters, count out loud and then connect that to the numeral. However six weeks later when a student does this activity for the second or third time they would notice how each number has one more counter then the last. Questioning them, and pointing out patterns, help students get to that deeper level.