Counting Collections


I can't believe I didn't know about them before, but after watching an ICTM webinar by Denise Brown (check out the recording here!), I was hooked! Immediately, I reached out to a few teachers in my district that also watched the webinar. I co-taught a counting collections lesson in each of their classrooms, one kindergarten and the other 1st grade. Wow. It was amazing.

Then, I saw another ICTM webinar by Kassia Wedekind (see that one here!) where she talked about nudges during counting collections. Ah ha! Another amazing idea.

Now I wanted to try more counting collections lessons. Luckily, we had a teacher institute day coming up and one of the original counting collections teachers agreed to present the idea to all of the kindergarten and 1st grade teachers. She did an awesome job sharing how she was using the routine in her classroom.

Next, I put together a traveling "Counting Collection Collection." I went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of stuff that kids could count. Pom poms, straws, rocks, googly eyes, etc, etc. My goal was to bring it to classrooms to show teachers how easy it is to get started! Because this routine is more about what is going on during the routine, the questions to ask, and what you learn about the kids. The set-up is next to nothing!!

So far, I've taking my Counting Collections show on the road and co-taught with three more teachers and one on my calendar to do next week. I'm so happy to see this idea spreading and so impressed with the teachers willing to try something completely new. To be honest, although the routine is simple, it really is a new way of thinking about teaching. To have to respond in the moment to student thinking, think of questions to ask, and not be able to completely plan everything out (of course you can do a little anticipating), can be a little scary the first few times. I think that is why doing this as a co-taught lesson, with two adults in the room has been a successful way to roll it out. Once you see it in action, it's easier to imagine how to implement on your own.


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