Adding Animals to the Pond

Area: Operations
Skill: Adding and Subtracting
Key Targeted Strategies:
  • Engage students in "Counting On"
Foundational Strategies:
  • Extending mathematical thinking
  • Asking children open-ended questions that elicit their solution-methods

What to Look for in This Clip:

"Counting on" is a strategy that helps students learn the concept of addition. In "counting on", students move from "counting all" of the objects in two sets to "counting on" from the number of objects in the first set.

During this activity, a student demonstrates the "counting on" strategy as he solves a math problem presented by his teacher. At the start, we see the children count seven things in the pond. The teacher establishes the set size by stating, "Seven, we have seven things in our pond right now," and writing the numeral seven on the smartboard. After reading the next page, she models adding one frog to the pond. One student responds, "There are now eight", and the teacher asks an open-ended question to elicit his solution-method, "How did you know that?" The student makes clear that he used a "counting on" strategy saying, "I know what comes after seven." The teacher extends mathematical thinking by elaborating on his idea, "He knew there were seven and if we add just one more, that makes eight. He knows, now we have eight things in our pond."