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Lots of Beans

Published over 2 years ago by Ann Baker

Lots of Beans

We are cranking it up a bit now and moving into ideas of place value and magnitude.

It is important that students engage in purposeful counting rather than just rote counting to 100 and beyond.

The following activity is designed to promote estimations based on informed guesses and then use speed counting strategies to check the estimates. There needs to be plenty of opportunities to talk about the magnitude of the bean collections and to give reasons for estimates that are made.

Getting organized for speed counting is also important. Look at the first image below briefly but do not count. Then answer the questions that follow.


Look at the next image and see if you want to revise your estimate.


The final image shows them having been made into subitizable groups of 5.


The beauty of making 5 in a subitizable pattern is that there is no need to count the 5s each time. Looping them into 10s is a fast way of finding how many altogether with no need to count by 1s at all. Using fluid materials and experiences with magnitude, ideas of place value and the need to work in 10s can develop skills experientially rather than just as a taught procedure.

For lots more ideas for subitizing see our award winning Subitizing series. Check it out on the 'Store' tab.

Upcycle3-4 Subitizing Book cover

Take Home Activity

When your students are used to the sequence and are using ideas of magnitude based on what they can ‘see’ they can take home a bag of beans and challenge their family.

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