Counting by 10s, 5s, and 1s


Students will practice counting by 10s, 5s, and 1s in order to prepare for counting and adding the values of coins.


Students will practice counting by 10s, 5s, and 1s in order to prepare for counting and adding the values of coins.

Subject Area

  • Math


  • K
  • 1st
  • 2nd

Class Time

  • Total Time: 0-45 Minutes minutes


  • A Number Chart (1 to 100)
  • Large paper penny, nickel, and dime

Lesson Steps

  1. Tell the students that today you will be playing a game to get them ready to be able to count with pennies, nickels, and dimes.
  2. Explain that the game is played like this:  each student will count to 100 by the number of fingers you hold up. As they count, follow their words by pointing at the corresponding numbers on the number chart. As each student counts, hold up one, five, or ten fingers for them to count by.
  3. Continue this game with about half of your class, holding your fingers up in a different sequence for each student, in progressively more difficult (frequently-changing) sequences.
  4. Review the value of each coin.
  5. Change the rules of the game slightly.  Instead of holding up fingers, hold up the paper penny, nickel, or dime to indicate sequence.
  6. Return to the game and have the remaining half of your class skip count by 10s, 5s, and 1s, but making the association between the coins and their values.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow extended time.
  • Allow students to work in pairs.


Assess whether the students met the lesson objectives by noting whether the students were able to switch from counting by tens to fives, fives to ones, etc. and whether their smoothness improved by the end of the activity.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: Math
Domain: K.CC Counting and Cardinality
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Count to tell the number of objects

  • K.CC.4. Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
    • When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
    • Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
    • Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
  • K.CC.5. Count to answer "how many?" questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects. 

National Standards

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Number and Operations
Cluster: Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.
Grade(s): Grades K–2

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • count with understanding and recognize "how many" in sets of objects;
  • use multiple models to develop initial understandings of place value and the base-ten number system;
  • develop understanding of the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers and of ordinal and cardinal numbers and their connections;
  • develop a sense of whole numbers and represent and use them in flexible ways, including relating, composing, and decomposing numbers;
  • connect number words and numerals to the quantities they represent, using various physical models and representations; and
  • understand and represent commonly used fractions, such as 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: All Connections
Cluster: Instructional programs from kindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to
Grade(s): Grades K–2

  • Recognize and use connections among mathematical ideas
  • Understand how mathematical ideas interconnect and build on one another to produce a coherent whole
  • Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics