Sunday, 20 May 2012

Early Numeracy: Counting songs

Mr Sociable is really interested in counting at the moment. I think they have been doing lots of counting and counting songs at Prep. The other day he randomly just started counting while he was playing with his drums and counted to 39! (He did leave out 15, but otherwise, he did pretty well).

Songs are a great way to practise early counting skills. Some songs teach counting forwards (eg Dr Knickerbocker), others count backwards (eg 10, 9, 8, God is Great!). I started making a list of all the kids counting songs I could think of. This is what I came up with:

Counting forwards
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish alive
Dr Knickerbocker
One potato, two potato
This Old Man
1, 2 Buckle My Shoe
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Five Fingers on my Hand - Peter Combe)
One Grey Elephant Balancing

Counting Backwards
10, 9, 8, God is Great
10 in the bed
5 little speckled frogs
10 green bottles
5 little joeys/5 little monkeys
6 little ducks
Alice the Camel

Can you think of more? 

Ideas for teaching counting songs
1. Using puppets, toys or foam shapes to represent the characters in the song makes the song fun! It also allows kids to get involved in the "story" of the song and teaches them to represent numbers with objects. Mr Sociable played with some foam frogs and a stick today, singing 5 Speckled Frogs (he actually sang for us at the dinner table, while waiting for everyone else to finish).

2. Teaching kids to use their fingers while counting is good practise for addition and subtraction (eg take away one finger for each verse of 5 Speckled Frogs as the frogs jump off the log).

3. Reading books that illustrate these counting songs. Mr Fun loves to look at books while I sing. Mr Sociable likes to "read" this sort of book to Mr Fun too. If you don't have any of these books, you could write your own - just put one verse of the song on each page and draw a matching picture (or use foam shapes).

Do you remember singing these songs as a child? Do you sing them with your kids?


Julie said...

Great ideas Erin. Only other one that sprang to mind immediately was 1,2,3 Jesus loves me...

Pam said...

Great post, Erin! I had to check your 'About Me' and sure enough, you are a primary school teacher.
- This Old Man- 10 Fat Sausages- The Ants Went MarchingPam... retired primary school teacher

Erin @ Lohtown Life said...

Haha yes - it's hard to stop thinking like a teacher! Thanks for the extra songs :)

Erin @ Lohtown Life said...

I haven't sung that since I was a kid! Thanks Julie :)

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