Skip Counting is the big term used for counting by 2's, 5's, 10's, and 100's. These skills will be touched upon in Kindergaten and First Grade and often must be mastered by the beginning of Second Grade. Once a child can count from 1-100 easily(and that means around two minutes with limited to no help), it is time to teach skip counting. In my opinion, counting by 5's and 10's is the easiest, but many begin with counting by 2's. These are skills that help with adding, subtracting, money, and patterns. Patterns during the primary years are often adding or subtraction by skip counting. In a minute I'll show you how to use a hundred board to teach these skills, but first some ways you can quiz your child on skip counting:

- Passing a toy or foam ball around in a circle and skip count. For example, at night, have the family sit down for a minute and pass a ball around and count by 5's until someone in the group reaches 100.
- Keep track of many days you are in school! One way is by keeping a number line, which also helps with another math skill: number lines! One easy way to do this is with register paper. Each day add the number of days you have been in school, and circle or write in a different color of marker the skip counting numbers. For example, write numbers in black, but numbers counting by 2's in green, numbers counting by 5's in purple, and numbers counting by 10's in orange(and perhaps circle these too!).
- When introducing money, introduce it a coin at a time. I'll talk more about money in the future, but casually point out pennies count by 1, nickels by 5, and dimes by 10. Just knowing this will make teaching money (a very difficult skill for children) much easier.

A Hundred Board is a perfect way to teach skip counting! Whenever I teach this, I have my kids get four crayon's out. I pick the color's and everyone uses the same colors.

First, we will color or circle all the numbers skip counting by 2. Have your child tell you what they notice about counting by 2's. They should see a pattern! Talk about how counting by 2's is every other number, and they all end in either 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8. They may also mention it is every other row or column.

This is also a great time to talk about odd and even numbers! I will be dedicating a post to odd and even numbers in the future, but I often re-do this activity again when doing odd and even numbers with two crayons.

Next, let's work with skip counting by 5's. Take another crayon and color the numbers that count by 5. (Please excuse my poor drawing...drawing with a mouse has never been my specialty!) Once again, ask your child what they notice... discuss any patterns they see.

Next, we will have counting by 10's.

Color or circle all numbers counting by 10's. Ask your child what they notice.

Next, you should point out the white blocks. Ask your child if they notice anything about them. They might notice they end in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9. This is a great time to introduce the term "odd numbers". You can either leave these white or color them. It might be easier to leave them white though so they stand out. :-)

Make sure to discuss how special each column is. Make sure your child notices all the numbers that end in 1 are in the same column, etc. This really helps out when having to identify where a number goes on a hundred board.

Phew.... what next? Take the time to quiz your child. You can let them begin with their hundred board and move up to quizzing them without it. Have them count by 2's, 5's, and 10's, and move up to asking them what number comes after 15 when come by 5's, etc. These are great questions to ask when in the car or taking a bath. Just spending a minute or two asking these questions helps your child retain the information/skill.

Above is a blank hundred board. This is great to use for number recognition and skip counting. You can have your child fill in the blank board from 1-100, only even numbers, only odd numbers, only counting by 2, etc.

Above is a Hundred Board Puzzle. Your child will cut out the rectangle/square pieces, put them in order on a sheet of a paper and glue. This is a great assessment to see how well your child recognizes the relationships between numbers and the Hundred Board. Plus, it's a lot of fun!

Finally, the most challenging skill of a hundred board - filling in the blank! Now, this is a skill that shouldn't be expected of a child who has not mastered the above skills. It is a skill that is often expected of second grade students in the beginning of the year.

With this sheet, students have to fill in the missing numbers on the pieces of hundred board. It looks easy, but what happens is students will see 5, 6, 7, 8 in the top row and think the row below it should be 9, 10, 11, 12.... but that's not correct. It's just a piece of a hundred board so really what should be below it would be 15, 16, 17, 18.... remember each number in a column counts by 10. This is a challenging skill... so make sure your child is ready for it. If you try it and they struggle, it's a great time to go back to the hundred board to look at how it is laid out. Also, you may want to try this sheet using a hundred board first. Let your child do the sheet while using a hundred board. They won't feel so intimidated, and they will work up to mastering the skill on their own without the help of a manipulative!

Finally, as a huge technology advocate, I will try to always have a technology extension to go along with each skill. This week it is Oswego City School District's game Give The Dog a Bone! I have never met a child that did not LOVE this game! Children are given a blank hundred board and one minute to find ten hidden bones for a dog. They are given a number and must find where it is located on the blank hundred board. (This is where are the skills we have worked on pays off - such as knowing where the 2's, 5's, and 10's are... if you know where 20 is on a hundred board, you can easily find 23.) Children love the fun challenge, and they're learning at the same time!

Have fun working on those hundred board skills!