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  • Writer's pictureLara

How to Teach Counting and Problem-Solving in Early Childhood Part 6: Facile Number Sequence

Updated: Nov 26


Check out the other posts in this series! Emergent Part 1, Perceptual Part 2, Figurative Part 3, Initial Number Sequence Part 4, Intermediate Number Sequence Part 5,


Get the full overview in one place! Presented at the Making Math Moments Summit, you can get the full presentation here!


A student in this stage will be able to use many non-counting-by-ones strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems such as

  • Compensation- adding a number and then subtracting to make a problem easier to solve but remembering to add or subtract the number you added

  • Using a known result, common in number strings

  • Making tens

  • Doubles and near-doubles

  • Decomposing numbers

  • Commutativity (realize the order of the addends does not change the answer in addition problems)

  • Subtraction as the inverse of addition

What do I look out for?

  • Can count forwards and backward to 100 and beyond

  • Can skip count by 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 10s

  • Recognize numbers to 100 and many 3-digit numbers but numbers with a zero in the tens place may still be tricky.

  • Will understand tens and ones like knowing that 26 is two tens and six ones

  • May be able to use skip counting and repeated addition to solve multiplication and division problems like finding out the number of items altogether in equal groups or arrays


How can I help students in this stage of counting?

Your students are really getting into a flow at this stage. They are ready for more challenging and complex problems! Continue giving them opportunities to make sense of numbers and how they work!


Students at this stage are ready to

  • work on adding and subtracting two-digit and three-digit numbers, with various strategies.

  • multiplication and division with skip counting, repeated addition, and arrays.




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