1) Forwards 1 to 10
Counting: Building Steps
- Develop fluency counting forwards in the correct order from 1 to 10.
- Develop the concept that each number in the counting sequence is one greater than the number before it.
- one longer
- one greater than
- one number after
The correct mathematical language when comparing numbers is “greater than” and “less than”. For example, “5 is greater than 3”.
The terms “bigger”, “larger” and “smaller”, in mathematics, refer to size. For example, the 5 block is bigger than the 3 block.
The terms “fewer” and “more” refer to discrete, countable objects. For example, counters.
Placing blocks end-on-end is an alternative representation when counting forwards. Encourage students to start with the one and add blocks to the right, as per the direction of a number line.
Develop fluency counting forwards when packing away. Cover the template with a piece of white paper that is 22cm x 20cm. Start at one, fill vertically.
Once students are fluent packing away starting at one, pack away counting forwards starting at different numbers. For example, “Pack away starting with the 4 block, counting forwards to 10. Then put away the rest of the blocks.”
Some students will incorrectly orientate the numbers, placing blocks upside-down.
The teaching focus of this activity is fluency counting forwards. Focus first on developing fluency counting, identifying and saying the numbers correctly. Digit orientation and formation can be focused on in a separate activity after this.
A little easier
Steps 1 to 5
Build steps from one to five. Start with the 1 block. Build flat on a desk. Count aloud, pointing to each number as it is said.
A little harder
Count forwards, by one to ten, starting at any number except one, without blocks.
Steps 1 to 14
Build steps from one to fourteen. Start with the 1 block. Build flat on a desk. Count aloud, pointing to each number as it is said.
Steps 1 to 14 from any number
Build steps from one to fourteen. Start with any number except the 14 block. Build flat on a desk. Count aloud, pointing to each number as it is said.
Counting forwards 10 to 20
Complete the ‘a little harder’ activity board.
Steps 1 to 15
Build steps from one to fifteen using two of every block from 1 to 10 (use linear tens) and both blank 5 blocks. This is significantly harder.
In the next activity students build on counting forwards to develop fluency identifying the number after and the concept of a mental number line. Go to
Counting: Number After, Greater Number