Intervention Strategies

Featured Topic: Skip Counting by 5s

Successfully skip counting by 5s is an important mathematical foundation for the 5 times table, for counting nickels, for rounding numbers, etc. Counting by 5s and counting by 10s are often the first rote skip counting a student learns. While some students will naturally learn the count through classroom activities, other students will need deliberate intervention to master this sequence.

Suggested Strategies:

  • Establish student comfort zone: Start slowly and build. Use individual number cards for 5, 10, 15, 20. Add additional numbers as student correctly skip counts this interval.
  • Sequence cards: Use individual counting by 5s cards. Have students assemble the random cards in the correct skip-counting sequence. Student should then point and count aloud.
  • Swiper Game: After student has assembled the 5s cards in the correct order, he/she closes his/her eyes. Swipe a number and push the others together to cover the hole. Student should skip count to identify the number that Swiper took. Swipe 2 cards, etc. as student gets better at this routine.
  • Skip Counting Booklet: Create a skip counting booklet that includes blank hundred charts. Student should have a page for each skip counting sequence. Color in the 5s as they are added to the skip counting sequence. Student should use this counting by 5s chart when skip counting, pointing to each number and saying its name as he/she counts aloud.
  • Counting by 5s Booklet: Make a small counting by 5s booklet. Student writes the number on the page then stamps, draws objects, uses tally marks, hands, etc. to illustrate that number. Student skip counts by turning pages of the booklet.
  • Shaded Hundred Board: Shade in the counting by 5s numbers on the class hundred board to reinforce this important counting pattern.
  • Tally Marks: Count tally mark bundles to reinforce counting by 5s sequence.
  • Nickels: Count nickels to reinforce counting by 5s sequence.
  • Counting Songs: Some students learn the sequence through song, similar to how they learn to sing the alphabet to correctly sequence the letters of the alphabet. Ask students to point to the numbers on the shaded hundred chart as they sing to reinforce number recognition.
    • Sing the Learning the Fives Song, sung to the tune of I've Been Working on the Railroad.
    • Sing the Jack Hartmann Count by 5s song. Hear a sample of the Count by 5s Song on the Math All Around Me CD. [Scroll down to CD title, then select song in the right-hand column.]

Games for Practice

Scrambled Eggs Game

Distribute large cards with multiples of 5 to students. Ask students to quietly assemble themselves in correct order, holding the card in front of them. Time the class in this activity, if this motivates your class to master the sequence.

NOTE: Cheap, white paper plates work well for this activity. Write large numbers with a black sharpie pen. Paper plates stack easily for storage and also hold up well through repeated use.

Partner Game: Each partner shuffles a set of count by five cards and turns them face down. On the word "GO!" each partner turns over the first card and places it roughly before him/her. Each student turns over one card at a time, ordering the cards before him/her until all cards are in correct order. First student to correctly order the sequence of cards wins the game. Intervention Strategies Resources