Highlighting Ideas from Choral Counting and Counting Collections: Transforming the PreK-5 Math Classroom edited by Megan L. Franke, Elham Kazemi, and Angela Chan Turrou
“Let’s push ourselves with today’s count. Today, we’re going to count by 15. I’m going to give you a moment to think about what that might sound like. Are we ready?” Ms. Lawyer’s students chorally count from 15 together with support from the teacher while she writes the numbers on the board neatly in a column
of 6. Ms. Lawyer pauses the count at 90 and asks students how they figured out that 90 came after 75. She elicits a few ideas from the group: Audrey likes to add 10 and then 5; Sean thinks about the 5 first, then the 10; Vilma is beginning to see jumps of 30 as you skip a number. Ms. Lawyer checks in with the group to
make sure everyone has their own way to keep going and then supports the group to continue the count together. At times, the students quiet down and stumble a bit (such as when they approach the 200s); other times, they excitedly grow loud (such as when the count “starts over” at 300, and they can use what
they had already counted at the beginning).
When the group gets to 390, Ms. Lawyer asks students to stop and take a moment to look at the entire, organized number sequence. She prompts them by asking, “What do you notice about the numbers? Turn to a partner and share one thing you noticed.”
Ms. Lawyer and her class are engaged in one of their favorite counting activities: Choral Counting. This is an activity they have engaged in regularly throughout the year, one that is met with much excitement, math chitchat, and eager students bursting to share their noticings.
Critical Features of Choral Counting
Choral Counting is an engaging and responsive math routine used by teachers across the elementary grades and beyond. And while the counting sequences you choose may vary from grade to grade, the critical features of Choral Counting remain the same.
As you plan for Choral Counting in your classroom, the two planning template options provided in Choral Counting and Counting Collections can support you in considering how you will record the count, places to pause for discussion, and anticipated student noticings and wonderings. (And you can find downloadable versions of these templates under the “Resources” tab for this book.)
How Do You Choral Count?
Let’s take a peek into a few classrooms engaged with Choral Counting to see how they answer the question, “How do you choral count?”
Kindergarten teacher, Miki Citron, engages her young students in counting by ones, noticing patterns, and considering how these patterns will extend as they continue counting.
Lauren Palos’s students counted by three starting at 18, making connections to multiplication in their noticings.
Stephanie Holloway’s fourth-grade students counted by ten, starting at 203, noticing what changed and what stayed the same as the count continued.
And Suzanne Huerta’s Choral Count by eighths connected to the problem-solving work of the day.
For more choral counting ideas and inspiration, follow the hashtags #ChoralCounting and #ChoralCount on Twitter and check out Choral Counting and Counting Collections.
Until next time, may your Monday be mathematically marvelous!