Thursday, May 10, 2012

Silly Skip Counting by Fives!

Hello, Everybody!

We all know that integrating movement throughout the day is crucial to keeping students engaged. By incorporating movement into our teaching, we activate the vestibular nerve which allows our students to focus on learning.

Here's a silly favorite of my students that really keeps kids up on their feet.  It's called "50 and You're Out!", and it's a fun way to practice counting by 5's.  This was one of those games that just "happened" one rare afternoon when lesson plans were actually completed and there were 10 minutes to spare at the end of the day. How did THAT happen? :) It was early in the year and a few of my little guys were still really struggling with counting by fives. And so, here's how it goes...

Everyone stands in a circle. Go around the circle with everyone counting aloud by fives together as the teacher or a leader points to a new child for each number. Whoever is "50" is out (sits down right where they are) and (here's the fun part) everybody else says "Good bye" - or "Sayonara", or "Arrivederci", "Aloha", "Ciao", "Auf Wiedersehen", "Bon voyage" or the most favorite of all, "Hasta la vista, baby!"  Who decides how to say good-bye? Well, it could be the teacher, but randomly choosing one of the kids already sitting down is also a great way to keep everyone involved in the game. Everybody (sitters, too) keeps counting around the circle until just one child is left standing.

This is a noisy, giggly, totally silly game that the kids beg to play for the rest of the year. Best of all, by the time you're finished, everyone has had lots of practice counting by 5's. You could also change it up by counting by 2's , 10's or 25's. And you're even tossing in a bit of foreign langauage/diversity- nothing like a bit of double-dipping to increase your teaching efficiency!

To bring the volume back down after the game, you might sometimes want to have a bit of practice/assessment. Here are a few variations on worksheets for you to use; two of them supply the numbers to be sequenced, and the other two require the students to supply the missing numbers.

I've also included number cards for the multiples of 5 up to 50. If you holepunch these and add about 24 inches of yarn, it's fun for students to wear them as necklaces, line up across the front of your room in random order and have another student come up to rearrange them in correct order. As a variation, have the students rearrange themselves - but with no conversation! It's really interesting to watch!

Click on the picture to download it all!

Happy Teaching!



  1. Thank you for the great idea! I've always called this the "Magic Number Game" but we only counted by ones.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth! Isn't it amazing how often we teachers have similar ideas? "Great minds think alike", I guess! :)
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. I love this game idea for skip counting! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  4. You're welcome, Mary -glad you like it! In first grade, sometimes silly is the best way to get everybody's attention! :)

  5. What a silly, fun learning game! My kids are going to love it! Thank you.


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