## Counting Collections

I have been very lucky to have had a lot of professional development in Cognitively Guided Instruction in Mathematics.  CGI math was created by Megan Franke.  She is the Guru from UCLA (my Alma Mater!!).
This post is about counting collections.  Counting collections are a structured way to give kids an opportunity to count.  They count large items and develop number sense.

1.  What can you use for counting collections?

Rocks
Paper clips
Pom poms
Money
Anything small
Objects with a given value each red tile is worth 100, each blue tile is worth 1,000 etc.
Sets of items
Pictures of sets of items

2. Where can you get counting collections?

99 cents store
Dollar Tree
Target
Michaels
Amazon
Anywhere

3.  How do you store the counting collections?

I put mine in quart sized Ziploc baggies and keep them in a basket
It helps to color code them according to the size of the collection for differentiation

4. Observe, walk around and talk to the kids.  This is the most important part.  The talking is the key!!!  Questions to ask to spur thinking:

What strategy are you using?
Is that the most efficient way to count?
Why did you choose to count that way?
What will you do when you run out of cups?
What equations can you use to find out the total?
Is there another way to count this?
What would you do differently next time?

5.  Have students record their thinking.
My kids know I expect:
Pictorial representations
Equations
Written explanations
At least two ways of counting

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