Resources mentioned in this episode:

Choral Counting and Counting Collections by Megan L. Franke, Elham Kazemi, and Angela Chan Turrou

Information about the Build Math Minds PD site

Elham Kazemi’s 2018 Virtual Math Summit session on Counting Collections

**Use the code 20STEN10 to get 10% off the book through the Stenhouse website.**

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 51.  Today we are looking at Choral Counting and Counting Collections.

Inside the Build Math Minds PD site, we do a book study a couple times a year and next week we are starting a book study on the book Choral Counting and Counting Collections by Megan L. Franke, Elham Kazemi, and Angela Chan Turrou.

This book study is for members only but I as I was reading through the book I wanted to share a section from the book to encourage you to go get the book and read through it yourself.  Many people think counting activities are just for our young learners but this book shows just how powerful Choral Counting and Counting Collections are throughout all of PreK-5th grade.

The book goes in-depth on each routine but at the end of the book one part caught my attention today and that’s what I want to share with you.

On page 183 they write:

“In our work with teachers and students, we have discovered that Choral Counting and Counting Collections work together in important ways.  The activities work to support the coordination of important aspects of number, the verbal (how you say a number, “three”), quantitative (the amount), and symbolic notation (how you write the number 3).  Choral Counting gives young students opportunities to work on how to say the number-integers, fractions, and decimals-and see the number in its written form.  As teachers make posters/anchor charts, they can leave these up in their classrooms so students can continue to study how to write particular numbers. Students can refer to these charts as they record their collections when engaging in Counting Collections activities.”

They go on to describe a situation where a 1st grade teacher was having trouble getting students to count beyond one-by-one.  So she planned some choral counts by 5s and 10s and did them before having the students do their counting collections. She left the charts up that they had made during their counts and encouraged them to use them as they did their counting collections.

This was a good reminder that mathematical concepts don’t happen in isolation.  If we want to help build their strategies and number sense we need to help kids make connections between concepts and even between the activities they are doing in the classroom.  The cool part about math is that it’s all connected, but that can also be the hard part because if your students aren’t seeing those connections it makes math more difficult for them.

Counting is the base of all mathematics, you can solve any problem with counting.  Now we don’t want kids staying in that counting phase, we do need kids to play in that phase to build their understanding of how numbers work and how they relate to each other. 

Choral Counting and Counting Collections are two amazingly powerful routines that you can add to your classroom at any grade level to help you do that.  I’ll link to the book on the show notes page and make sure you go there because the publisher of the book has given me a code for all of my listeners to receive 10% off the book. 

For those of you who are Build Math Minds members, make sure to come join us for the book study.  Even if you didn’t get your address in to get the free book sent to you, use the link in the show notes to get 10% off the book and then join in on the book study inside the site. Also for members, take a look in the Virtual Math Summit area.  Elham did a session all about Counting Collections, so go take a look at that. Again, I’ll link to all of it at the show notes

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As you start off the school year, I want you to keep in mind what is really important as we're trying to teach mathematics to our students.