T4T Cluster 3 Routine - Count Around the Class

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Counting Around the Class


Count Around is a routine that involves whole-class participation, with each person saying a number as you count around the circle. Two expectations should be established with this routine: Everyone needs to listen to each person and to count in their heads as each person says his/her number. Be sure to provide wait-time if students ‘get stuck.’ When students are given the opportunity to observe and notice patterns, you will likely be amazed at what they notice.



Students practice counting by different numbers and reason about number relationships.

  • 2.NBT.2 Count within 1000, skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, and 100s.

  • 2.NBT.8 Mentally add 10 or 100 to a number, and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number 100-900.

  • Count around by nickels, dimes, or quarters.  This support the 2.MD.8 which is working with quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.

  • Becoming familiar with multiplication patterns

  • Understanding the relationship between skip counting and multiplication



·         Students sit in a circle and count around the class by a particular number.  If students count by 3, the first student says “3”, the next student says “6”, and so on.  Before the count starts, students try to estimate the ending number of the count (the number the last person in the class will say).


·         Choose a number to count by.  Think of your mathematics goal. For example, if the class has been working with quarters recently, you might want to count by 25.

·         Ask student to estimate the target number. As they count around the teacher writes the numbers.  Try writing it in a pattern:

25        125      225      325      425

50        150      250      350      450

75        175      275      375      475

100      200      300      400      500

After several children have said their number, stop and pause in the middle of the count to help students think about the relationship between the numbers. Ask what patterns do they notice?  Will these patterns continue?


·         Extend the problem.  Ask questions like the following.  

Which of your estimations were reasonable?  Which were possible?

Which were impossible?  What would happen if we had 5 more people join our group?


·         They can also count around the class and make predictions about multiples of ten.   Count Around helps students develop fluency with place value patterns and allows students to become familiar with multiplication patterns through skip counting. As they listen to one another, students should be encouraged to share their thinking if they disagree with a classmate.


·         Extending a pattern.  After writing this pattern as they count, ask what they notice.

  1. Count around the Class by 3s.          3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 39

  2. What would we get if we counted by 30?  30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 240, 270, 300

  3. What would we get if we counted by 300  300, 600, 900, 1200, 1500, 1800, 2100 

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