Digital Counting Collections Routines

If you've followed me for any amount of time, you know I LOVE counting collections!  But they do take time to set up correctly.  And the clean up time in the classroom with primary kiddos can be--well--a while! :)

And honestly, all of those "issues" are totally worth it!  But the biggest problem I've noticed lately is... kids can't do counting collections if they aren't in the classroom! #distancelearning

Yes, parents can grab some things around the house to count, but, that's not ideal to put on the parents--especially if they are full time parents.

So, digital counting collections were born!  I love these for so many reasons... let's talk about those and what the routines look like digitally in the classroom or at home.

Why Should I Go Digital With Counting Collections?

Okay.  Confession.  When given the option between digital and counting actual objects I can touch, feel and manipulate, I'd choose those dang q-tips every single time.  You just can't replace that.

But digital counting comes pretty stinkin' close.  It's a great fit for distance learning, if you want to be able to assign kids certain sets to count.  It's easy to do on a chromebook, ipad or even an iphone so many kids will have easy access to digital counting collections.

Besides being a great option for distance learning, counting collections can also be a great supplement in the classroom.

While I wouldn't recommend completely replacing your traditional counting collections with digital, there are some great ways to work it in that can add value to your counting routines.

Digital counting collections work great as an additional math center because the cleanup and set up is so much quicker than traditional counting collections.  They also work great as an early finisher task (read more about those here).

Again, this wouldn't replace your weekly or daily counting time, it would be in addition to it!

What Do Digital Counting Collections Routines Look Like?

Digital counting collection routines are super similar to tradition counting collections routines.  If you already do these in your classroom, adding the digital routines will be a breeze. 

If you are trying counting collections for the first time, digital is a great first step to practice and see how it works in your classroom before committing to collecting #allthethings in #allthetubs ! :)

If you are in your classroom, the first step is to introduce counting collections and do a digital example together.  Distance learning teachers, simply video yourself explaining how to use digital counting collections and showing them an example by using this screen recorder free software!

Once you feel your kids understand what to do, assign them all the same counting mat to practice and share together.  This will give you similar numbers and objects to talk about during the share time after their individual counting time.

Then, you are ready to begin the real work of counting collections.  You can use the assessments in the paper counting collections resource to determine where your kids should begin counting.  Then assign them a color level and you are set!  

That's a quick overview of the routines.  Are you new to counting collections and want more details on what to do?  Read this detailed post on getting started with counting collections.

The routine for digital counting collections is basically the same, just online. :)  If you want all the details about how to add it to Google Classroom, assign different mats to different students, etc, watch this video here!

Once you've assigned the mats, your kids will click and drag to count the objects like in this kinder mat.

Then, they will count and double click to type in the total amounts and whatever other skills needed.  (Kinder, 1st, and 2nd all have different skills they practice with their collection.)

Finally, they can use the "scribble" feature in google slides or the edit feature in google classroom on an ipad or iphone to show how they counted or label their counting.

This is one I did using the scribble feature on my laptop in google slides...

This is how my 7 year old did a kinder version on his iPad using the edit feature in the Google classroom app.

But what about share time?  Share time is different, but very doable if you are doing digital counting collections.  If you assign the mats in Google classroom, you can save the mat as a jpeg file once the student turns it in.  Then, you can pull it up on your whiteboard in the classroom to discuss or use it to record a share time video for distance learning.  You could even share your screen in zoom or google meet to do share time.

The awesome thing about the digital mats is you can see how they grouped the objects easily instead of counting on the kids to draw/represent how they counted accurately.

Where Can I Find Digital Counting Collections?

If you're ready to try digital counting collections, you can find the bundle of K, 1st, and 2nd mats here.  Click on the individual pictures for just that grade's mats.

Still unsure about how they would work in your classroom?  Try it out the kinder version for FREE here!

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