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Counting Objects to 20 Worksheets

These worksheets help students learn to count a series of up to 20 objects. The goal for your students should not just be plain old rote memorization of these numbers in order. That does not capture the true nature of the concept of counting. We really are hoping that we can bring students to a level of understanding where they can attribute a value to each number within that series. There are a number of different ways you can help students achieve this. It helps students track this skill by using an array of columns and rows to place items in. Some teachers start with this method and gradually remove it. Other teachers feel that it provides a false sense of security. I find the biggest gap between students is when we transition from counting the item over and over to a variety of items. Some students get lost in translation with this. For those students that do, just make a more subtle transition. Start by counting the same item with different sizes and then transition to different items. Some things that often cause difficulty are arrangement. It does not matter how you arrange the same item; the total count will always be the same. I like to encourage students to say the numbers out loud when looking for total values. If you have any trouble, there are a bunch of lesson below to help you.

Aligned Standard: Kindergarten - CC.3

How to Help Students Learn to Count to 20

Chess Set

As we have covered on previous topics that involve number sense, we feel it is important for students to make this natural progression: Learn your numbers, count with those numbers, count missing pieces with those objects. How we, as teachers, approach this with our students can happen in any number of different ways. I have a colleague that I have worked side by side for two decades and when it comes to this topic, we approach all these different stages of learning differently. Here are a number of techniques that our staff finds helpful for learning this skill:

Hands-on - I cannot stress this enough, you need to spend a great deal of time with students using counting with physical objects that they can touch. At this age they need concrete experiences that will last with them. I start with helping them make 10 and then we advance to 20. The old what is missing from here activity is the way to go. For example, give them 6 objects and ask them how many more do we need to make 10 and then 20.

Counting Up as Adding - This is an elementary school skill, but if you can help students realize that counting up is the same thing as starting at an addend and then moving up the value of the other addend to end at the sum, they will be light years ahead. You can progress to this concept in many different ways, but I would suggest staying focused on using manipulatives whenever possible.

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