Friday, October 03, 2014

Tally Marks Math Tray

I recently showed J tally marks and he was instantly interested in learning more. Thankfully, J is already a skip counting pro (even by obscure numbers like 12 - and yes, he's only five!), so the concept of tally marks was quickly understood by him. To reinforce his learning, I set up this super simple tally marks math tray. It was also a great preschool math tray for K to practice his counting.

Simple math tray to practice skip counting by fives and learn about tally marks from And Next Comes L

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For this math tray, we used our giant homemade foam numbers and colored craft sticks. You could substitute any kind of number manipulatives that you have on hand. J is just particularly fond of these foam numbers, as I have mentioned before here, so I like to use them as much as we can for math activities.

The idea was for J to pick a number and count up to the number using tally marks, like below.

Tally marks elementary math tray from And Next Comes L

J has been exposed to tally marks in a variety of ways, including reading about them in this cute picture book called Tally O'Malley. So he started tallying with small numbers like 17 and 20.

Using craft sticks to make tally marks with this simple math tray from And Next Comes L

Elementary math tray that works on making tally marks from And Next Comes L

And 26...

Elementary math tray that works on making tally marks from And Next Comes L

J also did large numbers. Thankfully, not too large since he would have run out of craft sticks. Here he is making tally marks for the number 40.

Using craft sticks to make tally marks with this simple math tray from And Next Comes L

Then J made sure to practice skip counting by fives to double check that he counted correctly, which, of course, he did.

Using craft sticks to make tally marks with this simple math tray from And Next Comes L

K also joined in on this math tray, as I noted earlier. Obviously, he doesn't understand the concept of tally marks, nor should he at age 3, but I was happy to see him count out the correct number of craft sticks anyway.

Preschooler counting craft sticks from And Next Comes L

Here are some other simple math activity trays for preschoolers and early elementary learners:


Simple math tray to practice skip counting by fives and learn about tally marks from And Next Comes L
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