20 Beans

5 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT count a set of objects up to 20, starting at any number less than 20. SWBAT identify and describe characteristics of cubes, pattern blocks, and geometry blocks.

Big Idea

If you were Jack, of Beanstalk Fame, then today would be your dream day in math. Today the students are introduced to a counting game called 20 Beans.


5 minutes

Have students gather in a circle on the carpet.  Remind them of the strategy we used on the previous day to count the number of students in math class.  Then use the same strategy to repeat the exercise.  Each time start with a different student.  When finished, asked why we kept getting the same amount?  Reinforce that the final number represents the whole group and not just the last person.  I continue to do this to allow for students to discuss why the number doesn't change.  The concept is complex for some students and having them explain (MP6) why it doesn't change is both challenging and meaningful for building the idea of conservation of number.

*If time call students to come up and write the numerals 0 & 1 on the whiteboard, using correct formation (these were taught in the previous lesson).

20 Beans

10 minutes

*MATERIALS:  20 beans or counters per team of two, a 1-6 dot cube, 20 Frame (optional)

Introduce 20 Beans to the entire class by playing a demonstration lesson with another student.  Explain that today you are going to play a counting game called 20 Beans.  You will take turns rolling the cube and taking that many beans.  Keep rolling until you get at least 20 beans.  Your team wins when you've collected at least 20 beans together.

Play for a round modeling appropriate partner expectations (established during the first three days of math class), and appropriate game play.

Explain that this game will be a new choice during today's math center time.  This game is requiring the students to count up to 20 (24 if you roll a six on your last turn and had 19 beans already).  It is the beginning process of being able to count up to 120 (CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1)

Ongoing Assessment:  

  • Do students have the 1:1 correspondence?
  • Are students fluent with the names and sequence of numbers?
  • Can students continue counting after you ask them how many there are (half way through)?

When you are finished the above assessment move to observing 20 Beans.  Please see explanation of what you are observing in previous section.

Observing 20 Beans:

  • Do students recognize the dot patterns or do they have to count the dots?
  • When counting total after each turn, do they have to count all, do they organize or remember and then count on from previous total?
  • How accurately are they counting?

Math Center Time

35 minutes

Explain to the students that just like yesterday, they will be having center time with the same activities and 20 Beans added in (Greater Than will be taken out).  They will be using the same materials that they used the previous day.  Remind them that each of these materials will be placed at a different table.  Review the rules and routines that you established on the previous day.   Remind them that they need to get to anyone they haven't gotten to over the past two days.  Also explain that you will continue moving around the room you and asking students to count 20 of what ever material they are using (if you didn't finish this over the past two lessons).  While they are counting, stop him/her and ask the student how many so far.  When finished, asked him/her how many all together? You can see an example of the completed checklist in the previous lesson.

*Use this checklist to record you observations: A wide view of what the 3 center explorations look like all at once.


Lesson Wrap-Up

15 minutes

Signal to the students to clean up and gather back at the circle area.  

 Talk to the students about one of the math tools they have been exploring, Geometry Blocks. Use the poster (in section resources) to fill out information you gather from the students.  Ask them to describe the geometry blocks, what you can do with them, and what they can tell you about them?  Record their ideas on the chart.  This can be posted in the room for quick reference.  I want to emphasize the importance of having student effectively communicate their observations and thinking (CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6) along with modeling the appropriate use of vocabulary for the geometry blocks.  Although I don't expect mastery of the vocabulary, it is important to introduce it and use it when ever possible.

Finish the discussion by letting them know some of the ways you will use geometry blocks (as a math tool) throughout the year.

Then introduce the correct way to write the numerals 2 & 3.  Have them practice in the air and then write on lined paper.  You want to start working on correct formations and eliminating reversals.  I have my students start at the sticker and write the blue part and then the green part (Geometry Blocks.docx).