Count with Me! 1-2-3 Exploring the Number Three

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Students will be able to identify the number three, identify groups with three objects and represent the number three.

Big Idea

Many kindergarteners come to school with rote counting skills, but they often do not understand that the numbers they can recite actually represent quantities. This lesson helps to make that connection.


10 minutes

You will need to print a copy of the classroom book, Count with Me! 1-2-3.  I prefer to use a color printer and laminate the book for durability.  I then bind it with a plastic comb, but staples and rings would also work. 

I gather the students in our reading corner, around my “big chair”.  I hold up the book for the students to see.

I am looking at the picture on the cover of the book and I see some numbers.  Do you know what the numbers are?  Let's see if you can say them when I point to them...1-2...and I see a number we haven't talked about yet.  Does anyone know what number that is?  That's right!  That's the number 3.  Today we will learn all about the number 3. 

I point to the title of the book and say, the title of this book is “Count with Me. 1-2-3”.    Remember, you can help me read the book. 

I begin reading the book.  "Count with Me! 1-2-3.  Three bananas".  I reread this page, so the students can read it with me.  After rereading the page we then count the bananas to see if they are correct.  To help build “one to one correspondence”, I touch each banana and have the children count with me.

I continue reading, having the students count with me.

If time permits, I reread the book.  If not, we move over to the SMARTBoard to continue the instruction. 


15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMART Board.  If you have a SMART Board, the  Number Three Notebook File file can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.

I gather my students in front of the SMART Board.  I have cards with each student's name on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SMART Board.

I open the first slide (SMART Board Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques.  I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective
I can find the number three, count three items, write the number three and make a group with three.

Language Objective
I can use the number three to tell a friend how many items are in a group.

I then advance to Slide Two.  I tell the students, This is the number three.

Slide Three:  When I count, three is after the number two.  I then count to three pointing to the numbers on the Smartboard slide.  I repeat, having the students count with me.

Slide Four:  There are three monkeys.  I can count them.  I touch each one.   I then demonstrate for the students how I can count .  I touch each item once and and I say , “One-two-three”.  This step helps students develop “one to one correspondence”. 

Slide Five:  I explain to the students, There are some groups of monkeys.  I want to find the groups that have three.  If you are called up, I want you to show the class how we count by touching each cow.  We can check our answers.  Erase the circle to check.

I have the students touch and say one-two-three when counting.  If students need help with this step I will gently take their hand and guide them through the process.  I call students up using my “picking cards”. After counting, the students will erase in the circle to show the number of objects in the circle. 

After the students identify the slides with three, I ask them how many objects are in the other groups.  I have them come to the board and demonstrate counting the objects.  The remaining objects have one  and two objects each to review those numbers

Slide Six and Seven:  Now the students get the opportunity to practice making groups of three.  I say to them: Can you make a group that has three?  Count as you move the cats, 1-2-3.

The students use their finger to drag one cat at a time out of the circle and into the box (using the smooth part of your fingernail works well for students to move the objects.  If that is too difficult, students can use a tennis ball to drag the items on the Smartboard).  Make sure that students count aloud as they are moving the cats.  Repeat with the next slide using the frogs.

Slide Eight: I use this slide to demonstrate how to make the number three.  I stress the importance of starting the number at the top where the green or “go” circle is.  I show how to make the number, saying to the students, start at the green dot.  start at the green dot.  Curve around to the center and then curve around again.  Stop at the red dot.  Do not pick up your pencil.

Slide Nine:  Now it's time to do Turn and Talk to build oral language skills.  Students get with their assigned Turn and Talk Partners.   I tell the students, Now, turn to a friend and tell them how many crocodiles there are.  

After the students have had a chance to talk, I ask the students to raise a hand if they know how many gorillas there are.  When I get a correct answer, to expand their language skills I have them repeat the answer in a complete sentence.  I say, You are right.  There are three crocodiles.  I want everyone to say, "There are three crocodiles." 

To review the number two, I ask,  Now, how many gorillas are there? I repeat the above process, giving the students Turn and Talk time.  I call on a student and then have the entire class repeat, "There are two gorillas."

We then move from the SMART Board back to our tables.

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, the 1-2-3 Student Book is needed.  The file can be duplicated and stapled on the side.  After duplicating, the stapled packet can be cut down the middle to make two student booklets.

After the students are seated, I distribute the student booklet.  I instruct the students to put their name on the front cover and set their pencil down.

The students and I read the cover together. I then invite the students to touch each number on the cover of the book and same them together, “1-2-3”.  We then turn to the first page.  I invite the children to read with me.  We read the entire first page together.  Count with me.  1-2-3. Three bananas.

I then tell them that we need to check and make sure the number of bananas is correct.   I say to them, Get your finger out.  Make sure you say one number for each touch.  Ready, touch…one-two-three! 

I then invite the students to pick up their pencils and write the number three, tracing over the lines provided. I remind them to start the number at the top.  When they are done, I have them put their pencil down and turn the page.  To see how we read the story together and reinforce one-to-one correspondence, watch this video.

The page with the cookies does not have guidelines to encourage the students to write the number independently.  On the last page, because the rabbit ate one of the carrots there are only two carrots left.  Here is an opportunity for a “mini-lesson” on subtraction.  I say to the students, if I had a carrot and the rabbit ate one, how many would I have left.  Let’s count to see 1-2.  That’s right, three take away one is two.

When we are done, the students are instructed to put the booklet on their name tags on their table.  After independent practice they will get a chance to color in the book.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

A copy of the Number 3 Dauber Worksheet is needed for each student. To complete the activity, students will need bingo daubers.  If bingo daubers are not available, students could color the circles, use stickers or stamps.

I distribute a copy of the activity to each student.  I have them put their name at the top and set their pencils down. I then explain that the first thing we will do is practice writing our threes.  We will trace the trees here and then go down to line below and trace those threes.  When we are done tracing, we will write three more threes.  (I do this step first so the students do not get ink on their fingers when they are writing).   

I then say, after we are done writing, we will practice making groups of three.  I am going to use my bingo dauber to fill some circles.  I need to fill three circles in each group.  I will fill three circles (demonstrate how to fill the circles).  I can check to make sure I have the right number of circles filled by pointing to each one and counting (demonstrate touching and counting).  Of course, you will want to tell the children to touch below the circle so they do not get the dauber ink all over.

Make sure to reinforce starting on the left side of the page.  I had just taught a lesson on starting on the left in language arts prior to this lesson and failed to adequately reinforce this with the students.  The student in this video did a great job placing the dauber spots and counting them out, but you will notice he did start on the right on two sections of the activity sheet. 

As students complete their work, they bring their activity sheet to me.  I have them show how to count the dauber spots to make sure they have the correct number and are demonstrating one-to-one correspondence.  After I have assessed their work, they are given time to color in their student book.  I encourage them to take the book home and read it with their parents. 

Included in this lesson is Number Three Dauber Review for students who need additional practice. Students can practice identifying, representing and writing the number 3 with this sheet.