Skip counting by certain numbers, like 2 and 5 and 10, becomes so ingrained for most of us that we don’t think of it as a skill or something to master. But skip counting is really important because it helps kids calculate more quickly and with more ease. If that’s not enough, skip counting prepares kids for multiplication and division. In other words, skip counting is essential.
Teaching kids to skip count usually starts with some of the “easy” numbers I mentioned and focuses on skip counting forward (toward higher and higher numbers). Once students master that, however, they need to learn skip counting:
- with a wide variety of numbers
- forward and backward
- from any number
- past place value barriers
Getting kids to be confident skip counters takes a lot of practice, and that should happen in class and at home.
Skip counting homework made easy
I’ve found that not all parents are familiar with the term skip counting, even if they understand the concept, so it’s helpful to send something home explaining what skip counting is and why it is important. Any worksheets you send home should have clear instructions, and it’s always helpful if students have done a similar activity in class.
Here are three favorite activities to send home.
Skip counting patterns
You can have students practice skip counting by any number with a hundreds chart. Simply send home a hundreds chart with instructions on where to start, what number to skip count by, and how high to skip count. Students should circle all of the numbers that they skip count to. For example, if they were skip counting by 3 starting at 3, they would circle 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 … and so on. If they were skip counting by 3 starting at 17, they’d circle 20, 23, 26, 29 … and so on.
Because students sometimes get stuck at place value barriers like 100, you may want to use a number chart that goes beyond 100.
You can also modify this activity to help students practice skip counting backward.
Fill in the gaps
Use a worksheet that shows students some of the numbers they would use for skip counting. For example for skip counting by 4s, you could show 4, 8, 12 and then leave 4 empty boxes for students to fill in followed by 32, more empty boxes. Continue as high as you like, and leave different length gaps for students to fill in.
To help students practice skip counting backward, organize the numbers on your worksheet from highest to lowest.
Skip counting dot to dot
Dot to dot activities are always a hit with my students. They like seeing the image emerge, and when they are done they can color it if they choose. The only difference between skip counting dot to dot and regular dot to dots is that instead of moving from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4, students will move from one skip counting number to the next. So if you were skip counting by 2s, they’d connect 2 to 4 to 6 to 8. Skip counting dot to dots can be made to practice skip counting by any number.
Other skip counting homework ideas
Other activities that lend themselves to skip counting homework are:
- Grouping—Have students circle groups for whatever number you are skip counting by.
- Missing numbers—Have students fill in the missing numbers on a game board by skip counting by a certain number.
- Find the odd one out—Give students a series of numbers and have them circle or color the one that doesn’t fit the skip counting pattern.
- More and less—Give students a random group of numbers. For each number have them identify X more or less (where X is whatever number you are skip counting by).
- Order the numbers—Have students put skip counting numbers in order from smallest to biggest or vice versa.
Skip counting homework done for you
You can certainly make up your own worksheets for skip counting using these different activities, but wouldn’t it be amazing to just be able to print them and send them home with students? With the Fun Skip Counting Worksheet Bundle, you can do just that!
The Fun Skip Counting Worksheet Bundle includes 50 fun and easy to use skip counting worksheets for multiples of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10. Students practice skip counting with a variety of numbers both forward and backward. In addition to making excellent homework, the skip counting worksheets are perfect for morning work, small group work, use in a math station, ongoing assessment, and in-class practice or review. You can print them as one-time use worksheets or print them on cardstock and laminate them so that you can use them again and again with wipe-off markers.
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