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First Grade Math Lesson Plan: Skip Counting

Lesson Objective(s):
● Students will be able to break numbers into tens and ones.
● Students will be able to count larger numbers by counting out groups of ten and
then ones.
● Students will be able to use manipulatives to represent numbers on the hundreds
● Students will be able to regroup when they get ten ones.
District Outcome(s) and/or State/National Standard(s)
● 1.NS.2: ​Understand that 10 can be thought of as a group of ten ones — called a
“ten." Understand that the numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones. Understand that the
numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).
● 1.NS.1: ​Count to at least 120 by ones, fives, and tens from any given number. In
this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a
written numeral.
Lesson Prerequisites and pre-assessment of students:
● Students need to be able to count by ones, and group ones into tens. They also
need to have heard of a tens
● During our FAI we asked probing questions in order to determine the class’s
abilities to count by twos, fives, and tens. . Our two focus students were able to
easily count by each number, but they could not count on. We determined that
students still could not understand numbers broken down, for example, 13 is the
same as one ten and three ones.


● Large Place Value Mat for the board

● Large Red One Squares and Red Ten Rectangles for the Board
● Individual Place Value Mats for each student (21)
● Large Hundreds chart
● Mystery Box for the 100s
● Measurement worksheet chart
● Beans
● Buttons
● Rocks
● Little cups for groups of ten
● Unifix Cubes
● Base Ten Blocks
The teacher provides a short lesson on place value with tens and ones. She should
begin by asking them to sit in their spots, then moving students so that everyone can
see. She should also place certain students at the front so she can use proximity
control. She will ask 2 students for their ages and as a class they will add their ages by
using both ones and then moving them into a bundle of ten. For example the teacher
will place 6 and then 7 ones cubes on the ones side of a place value chart. (6 & 7
represent the students ages). The class will count the ones and get 13. The teacher will
say we can’t have 13 ones.
As a class they will count out ten ones, placing the group of 10 ones below the ones on
the place value chart to form a line of 10. The teacher will then introduce a single tens
rod. The teacher will count the squares on the tens rod and show that it looks the same
and has the same amount of squares as they had in cubes under the one’s side of the
chart. The teacher will then place the tens rod in the the tens section of the place value
The teacher will then ask how many tens there are (1) and how many ones there are (3)
and then the teacher will write the number under the 1 under the tens place and the
number 3 under the ones place. She will then write the number 13 on the side and ask
the class what number it is. She will then ask if it equals the same amount as the place
value chart has. The teacher will then check for understanding by asking probing
questions such as how many tens are in 13? How many ones? What does this one (in
13) represent? (How many). If she see’s they understand she will start demonstrating
what the students will be doing at each center and give students specific directions on
what not to do and what to do with the materials in each center. Which will be explained
in detail within our centers part of the lesson below. The teacher will then break the
class into groups and place them at their centers.


For the main activities I will have our students at 4 centers. 3 groups of 5 and one group
of 6 students. Each student will get to visit each station during 5 minute rotations.

Center 1: Measurement Sheet​ ​(5 min.) ​The first center students practice measuring
using unifix cubes. They break the cubes down to groups of tens and ones and place
them on their place value mats based on how many total cubes it took to measure
different objects (book, desk, chair, shoe). The students record their findings on a
worksheet that we have provided below.
Center 2: Inventory Sheet (5 min) ​At the second center the students worked with
beans, beads, glass pebbles, and buttons. They counted them out into groups of tens
placed them into a cup and places their cups on the tens side of their place value mat.
The teacher emphasizes using a variety of activities because children don’t all learn in
the same way. The worksheet is shown below. We will make sure each item is in a
separate pyrex container and that each pair of students is only using one manipulative
at a time. We will also not provide an excess (more than 100) of each item to ensure
that there is not an unnecessary mess. In addition to this, we will direct the students to
replace their objects in the assigned bin after use, and to clean up the station quickly
before moving on. We will also have an IU teacher at this station to help with
organization.​ (Make sure that each item is pre counted, this ensure that students don’t
have to count out 93 of one item and not have time to count out each item)
Center 3: Hundreds Chart Mystery Number (5 min.) ​At center three a student teacher
uses a hundreds chart to show a mystery number (in a box) and the students have to
take that number and break it into tens and ones on their place value charts using base
ten blocks. Be sure to model how to use the rods and blocks. Explain to students that
each rod has ten ones, and help them understand that three groups of ten equals
thirty.The teacher will then have students count how many tens they have, and how
many ones they have and they will restate the number.

Cluster 4: Unifix Cube Race (5 min.) ​At center four the students are timed and they
are trying to get the most cubes from the pile. When all the cubes are gone the students
check to see who won (had the most cubes) by making rods of tens and counting the
ones and putting them on their place value mats and then stating how many they had.
(Instead of putting all of the unifix cubes in large bin in the middle of the table, we will
use short bins between partnered desk to keep the over reaching down these will hold
the single cubes. This will keep the this station orderly and will keep arguments and
confrontations between students down.)


When the teacher brings the students back together as a whole class she will discuss
what the students did in each center and checks for understanding as well as makes
deeper connections with the students to place value by asking a student from each
center to explain something they did well while learning. The teacher will pick these
students from information the center teachers provide about interesting things they
witnessed at their center. For example if I noticed a student at the measurement center
break a unifix train into a group of ten and then instead of counting up to ten for each
other ten rod they find, they use their original ten rod to measure other groups of ten, I
will ask that student to share what they did and ask them why they chose to use that
counting measurement instead of counting up to ten each new ten rod. We will make
sure to provide extra time in the summary because of its importance to the
understanding of the lesson.

Gearing Up:​If this lesson is two easy, we will give students larger numbers to count,
and we will move them away from the manipulatives and have them represent numbers
in expanded form. You can also gear up by moving to 100s place value for students
who have mastered tens and ones.

Gearing Down: ​ If the lesson is too difficult, we will work only within 20, trying to get
them just to regroup ones into a group of thens. If they are still confused I will have them
move away from the charts, and work with just the manipulatives.
Reference(s): ​Video link by Dr. Roach IU Education Mathematics Director,

Indiana Department of Education. (2015). Mathematics. Retrieved from