Chopstick Counting

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Students will use fine motor skills to count using one to one correspondence.

Big Idea

It's a race! Kindergartners use chopsticks in a counting game.


10 minutes

This is an activity that I use as one of my math stations, so there is not a formal introduction to this lesson. The stations are very briefly discussed at the beginning of the week. This takes approximately 10 minutes. I am fortunate to have a para-pro and parent helper each day of the week during my station time, so  they are able to assist students, keep them on task, and work with them at stations. With 3 adults in the room, instructions are able to be brief, as anyone who is having difficulty will be noticed. My station activities always target skills that we have previously learned.

During station time, my students are broke into 2 groups (12 students in each group- totaling 24). On Mondays & Wednesdays, group 1 is working on stations, while group 2 is using technology. Technology includes i Pads, lap tops, and the smart board. On Tuesdays & Thursdays, group 2 is working on stations, while group 1 is using technology. Fridays are free choice. All students use technology and re-visit any of their favorite stations from the week. I have included a picture of my schedule that is displayed in my classroom.

Chopstick Counting

15 minutes

This station was planned the week before Christmas break, and only a few days prior to Christmas. My Kindergartners had one thing on their minds-SANTA. For this reason, I tried to make the math stations this week more relaxed, yet still meaningful, knowing my students' attention would not be 100%. I address this in my reflection. With that said, I can say they loved this station! I have included a student video discussing this.

I went to a local Chinese restaurant and asked for some take out containers and chop sticks. They were happy to give these materials to me for classroom use. I asked for six of each, knowing I allow 4 students at a station, which left me two extras. In addition, I bought 6 bags of Christmas candy from the dollar store.

I put the candy in the center of the table. Children were instructed to use the chopsticks with 2 hands and put as many pieces of candy they could into the take out container.

Students had to wait for the parent to say "go" to begin. Once all of the candy was gone from the center of the table, the children stopped, and counted the candy in their container. The child with the most candy was the winner. This activity connects counting to cardinality.