Question Detail

What about counting backwards?

Apr 12, 2016 7:45am

I am interested in Student Achievement Partners' interpretation of a few standards in Kindergarten. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.1 Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.2 Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1). There's nothing explicit about backward counting. We've often felt that many kids learn to count back from 10 in their daily lives as preschoolers or kindergartners. How about counting back from 20 through instruction in K? Then later in the year to 30? It would help solidify the rote sequence and lead to the "count back" strategy for subtraction, but I wonder how much time to spend on it. It seems like it could make for a warm-up small group or partner activity year-round, differentiated by where they are. I'd be interested in other people's thoughts on this topic.

  • Math
  • K
  • Common Core


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    • Apr 12, 2016 8:08pm

      I am not as familiar with the early grades and upper elementary and middle... but in watching the video in the following blog post, he addresses it.
      I think it is very interesting how we often omit 0 in teaching students and he brings this up. As a middle level teacher (who introduces negative numbers) I can see how including zero is crucial to the progression.

      • Apr 15, 2016 4:23pm

        This is a REALLY great question Heather and honestly has me thinking. Understanding what number comes before another seems like something we definitely do not emphasize nearly as much as we do counting on, right? That said, I have no real answer here but instead more questions which is probably not too helpul, but here are my thoughts...
        It has me thinking about the "why" behind we want students to count backwards if they weren't subtracting? I agree it would help the rote sequence, but wondering if the rote is helpful without a context attached to it. Also makes me wonder how much doing the backwards counting would cause students to avoid looking for more useful ways to count back when subtracting? For example, when a student is subtracting 15-6, would they get so used to rote counting that they would count back from 15 rather than conceptually thinking more about taking away a group of 5 and then 1 more?
        Sorry to not have any answers for you, but I did shoot the question out on Twitter to many of my math colleagues that are really grounded in the CGI math work so if I hear from them, I will let you know!