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Subject: Mathematics

#4760. Counting Cheerios

Mathematics, level: Kindergarten
Posted 04/18/2014 by Maria Rodriguez (Maria Rodriguez).

Linn, Texas

Teacher Information
M. Rodriguez,, University of Texas at Brownsville, Graduate Student

Populations Served
A. Intended Grade Level and Age
Kindergarten (age 5)

B. Special Education

Attention Deficit Disorder:
"Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a brain-based disorder that can affect children, adolescents, and adults. Researchers are still exploring what causes AD/HD. We do know that the disorder often runs in families and many studies suggest that genes play a big role in AD/HD. Other possible underlying causes include environmental factors, such as early exposure to lead or to alcohol before birth, and brain injury. Many of these symptoms are common among children of all ages and developmental levels. Signs of AD/HD, however, are often severe, frequent, and first occur as early as age three and often by age six. The main symptoms are related to:
Staying focused and paying attention
Delaying gratification or controlling impulses
Being overly active or restless
AD/HD is a neurobiological condition characterized by inappropriate levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention" (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2013).

How the lesson addresses a child with these needs:
Since most students with AD/HD have a difficult time staying focused with routine tasks, the repetitive counting and switching from activity to activity will encourage them to concentrate on the activity at hand. They will be able to complete the lesson from the beginning because they are being kept busy with the various counting activity while creating their necklace.

"A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, which adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has a serious emotional disturbance as defined below. Autism was added as a separate category of disability in 1990 under P.L. 101-476. This was not a change in the law so much as it is a clarification. Students with autism were covered by the law previously, but now the law identifies them as a separate and distinct class entitled to the law's benefits" (IDEA, 2004).

How the lesson addresses a child with these needs:
This counting lesson is repetitive yet by combining it with various activities, such as the Cheerio necklace it can reinforce the lessons being taught in the classroom. Children with autism may not be very verbal, however by counting with a group and by the teacher asking questions such as, how old are you?; how many dogs do you see?; etc. can allow those students to express themselves. Due to the variety of the activity, this activity will keep these students willing to participate in the lesson.

"Dyscalculia refers to a wide range of lifelong learning disabilities involving math. There is no single type of math disability. Dyscalculia can vary from person to person. And, it can affect people differently at different stages of life.

Two major areas of weakness can contribute to math learning disabilities:

Visual-spatial difficulties, which result in a person having trouble processing what the eye sees
Language processing difficulties, which result in a person having trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears" (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2013).

How the lesson addresses a child with these needs:
Children with dyscalculia often times seem to have little "number sense" and trouble with counting, memorizing arithmetical facts, following procedures, or executing strategies - inaccurate, slow or both, and they also exhibits dislike of or anxiety towards math, and/or avoidance behaviors. This lesson would benefit children with dyscalculia because they will be able to visually see the objects being counted, as well as touching them and placing them in order. Teachers are also able to guide them throughout the lesson by having all the children count out loud to also assist the child with dyscalculia without obvious assistance to the child.

C. Gifted and Talented (GT):
"Children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment - US Department of Education, 1993" (National Society for the Gifted & Talented, 2013).

How the lesson addresses a child with these needs:
Gifted and Talented children may enjoy this activity because it will keep them from becoming bored. Often times gifted and talented students get bored doing daily school work, handouts and projects. With this lesson a gifted and talented student will be able to actively participate in the lesson by counting along and answering question. This activity is really great for them because if counting 10 or 20 cheerios and placing them on a necklace is too easy for them they can continue to 30.

D. Emergent Bilingual
Beginning English Learners:
"The beginner phase of second language development starts immediately on exposure to the new language. Early on, the child may neither understand nor speak a word of English. Soon, however language comprehension develops as a result of opportunities for social interaction with speakers of the new language and the comprehensible input that is generated. As beginners develop, they are able to generate utterances according to simple grammatical rules, enabling them to carry out various tasks according to their own needs and purposes" (Boyle & Peregoy, 2013).

How the lesson addresses a child with these needs:
Students at this early level may not know any numbers, letters, or sounds, but they will still be able to match numbers to pictures as well as create their necklace. With daily practice before the lesson is to take place, all the children should be able to match numbers 1-10 or 1-30. Over time, with practice, the students will begin learning more numbers. It is understandable that the child may feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning of the lesson; however by creating their Cheerio necklace individually they will be able to use what they have learned to place the correct amount of Cheerios on their string.

Intermediate English Learners:
"Intermediate English learners are able to understand and speak English in face-to-face interactions, and they are able to speak with minimal hesitation and relatively few misunderstandings. Nevertheless, because their grammatical abilities (syntax, semantics, and phonology) are still developing, you may notice features in their speech that are not typical of Standard English. During the intermediate phase of second language development, you can support students' participation in learning activities by continuing with the sheltering techniques and small-group collaboration. As intermediate-level English language learners progress, they may appear able to use English with nearly as much facility as their native English-speaking counterparts" (Boyle & Peregoy, 2013).

How the lesson addresses a child with these needs:
Since the intermediate students are improving and are increasing their English skills, this lesson will allow them to continue reinforcing those skills by counting out loud and participating with their classmates throughout the lesson. With daily practice before the lesson is to take place, all the children should be able to match numbers 1-10 or 1-20 and/or 1-30. Over time, with practice, the students will begin learning more numbers, and at this stage they should be able to recognize and understand more numbers than the Beginning English Learners. It is understandable that the child may still need assistance; however they may be able to work and participate in the lesson with little assistance when it comes to pronouncing the words (one, two, three, etc.). Just as the Beginning English Learners, creating their Cheerio necklace individually will allow them to use what they have learned to place the correct amount of Cheerios on their string.

The lesson will take 45 minutes to explain to the students how the lesson will work, model, and finally have the children start the lesson using the materials provided.

The theme of the topic is counting. The student should be able to recognize, with daily practice, the numbers 1-20 and up to 30.

Learning Domains:
This lesson is cognitive while using scaffolding because the teacher will first conducted the lesson in a large group for a few of the activities planned. The children will work individually the rest of the lesson while the teacher assists those who may need assistance. Throughout the lesson the teacher could continue to ask various questions such as how many chairs are around the table? How many girls are in the room?; etc. This becomes an affective lesson since students are able to use the cheerios to not only demonstrate the number on the flashcard but to create their Cheerio necklace as well as eat the remaining Cheerios as a snack. The psycho-motor domain happens in this lesson through various ways. First this domain happens when the students have to use the scissors to cut their number, as well as squeezing the glue to paste their number. This domain is also apparent when the child strings their cheerios to create their necklace.

A. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS):
(K.1) Number, operation, and quantitative reasoning. The student uses numbers to name quantities. The student is expected to:
(A) Use one-to-one correspondence and language such as more than, same number as, or
Two less than to describe relative sizes of sets of concrete objects;
(B) Use sets of concrete objects to represent quantities given in verbal or written form
(Through 20); and
(C) Use numbers to describe how many objects are in a set (through 20) using verbal and
Symbolic descriptions.

B. Backwards Lesson Planning Goal:
The goal of the lesson is for students to be able to count from one to twenty or thirty, as well as be able to recognize the written number and produce objects in the amount of the given number.

C. Language Objective:
TLW listen to the story, The Cheerios Counting Book.
TLW recite with the teacher the numbers from one through twenty verbally.
TLW listen and respond to questions being asked.
TLW describe the numbers taught through visuals.

The materials needed for the lesson are:
Book: The Cheerios Counting Book
Construction paper squares
Numbers worksheet (1-20)

This lesson plan is similar to two strategies Reading Aloud and using Word Cards. Reading aloud is beneficial for students of all ages because you involve them in the pleasure function of print and you are able to model the reading process (Boyle & Peregoy, 2013). Therefore, when it comes to Reading Aloud to Students, the students are being read too first while also demonstrating visuals to assist in the number counting and learning process. When it comes to the Word Card strategy, the students are not given word cards but they create number cards to assist them in the lesson. With the use of the number cards or even the numbers worksheet, they are able to visually see the number on the cards and add the matching number of Cheerios. By creating their own cards students can develop a personal collection and used for their own particular need (Boyle & Peregoy, 2013).

Lesson Steps (Activities):
Read the book The Cheerios Counting Book. Discuss the numbers and count in the book the number of cheerios shown on each page.
Discuss with the children how old they are and have them show you their age using their fingers. Various other question may be asked.

Provide the students with a numbers worksheet and a handful of Cheerios. Have the students glue the right amount of Cheerios in the space provided as the pictures below indicate. Talk to the children about what each number is as they put the Cheerios on. Let them eat the extra Cheerios while you talk about the numbers (make sure to mention that they should not eat the Cheerios that are glued on the Worksheet and/or construction paper).
You may substitute the numbers worksheet with number cards on the table -- one for each child in your class. Have the children cut their number and paste it on a piece of construction paper. Provide each child a handful of Cheerios. Have the children take their square and put the right amount of Cheerios on it.

Give the children 40 more cheerios. Use the yarn to make cheerios necklaces with the kids. Have them count their Cheerios as they put them on their necklace. With kindergartners, have them put 20 to 30 cheerios on their necklaces.

Part 5:
While the students create their necklace group them in small groups of five, so that you may be able to discuss their completed worksheets together. (This may also be done after the lesson or during center activity.)

A. Hook:
How old are you? Can you show me with your fingers?
How many girls are in the classroom? Can you show me with your fingers?
How many boys are in the classroom? Can you show me with your fingers?
How many teachers are in the classroom? Can you show me with your fingers?

B. Teacher Input (I do):
The teacher will read the counting book, demonstrating the number while counting the objects on the page. This will be done from the start of the book to the end. The teacher will then ask the students various question allow the students to demonstrate their knowledge of numbers and of how many. The teacher will then demonstrate with either the number cards or number worksheets, what needs to be done with the next step of the lesson.

C. Check for Understanding:
The students are not with the teacher initially as they are working on the lesson. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of numbers by creating their number cards and completing their numbers worksheet. The teacher will walk around along with the Assistant Teacher and check on each student individually and assist those who may need assistance.

D. Grouping (we do):
The teacher will walk around the room to continuously check for understanding. If the teacher sees that the children are mastering the numbers worksheet, the teacher may add or provide additional numbers for practice. The teacher may group the students at the end of the activity to obtain feedback from the lesson. When the students rotate with the teacher in her/his small group, the students will need to show their worksheet and discuss it with their teacher.

E. Independent Practice (you do):
Each student will be given another math worksheet to be completed at home and returned the next day. The student must count and identify the correct number by circling the number.

F. Closure:
At the end of the lesson the each student will be given an erasable white board and a dry erase marker. The teacher would show pictures from the book with the number removed, only showing the Cheerios. The students would need to write the correct number on the board and show the teacher. This will allow the teacher to see which student needs extra assistance without singling out that particular student.

G. Online:
When it comes to working a classroom online, not every activity can be converted to fit an online setting. PART 1 of the lesson may be done online as well as some of PART 2. Through file sharing on various online collaborates the teacher can provide the child with every page of the book. PART 3 & 4 of the lesson may be replaced with the closing exercise sharing the blank pages on the screen and asking each individual child to enter the number on the chat screen. Since the closing exercise replaces part of the lesson, the teacher may close the lesson with an online math game found at
There are various counting games that can be completed. The game that would need to be completed is called, "How many?"

This may also be the student's independent practice activity for the day.
For this activity the parents would need to be present to read the instruction to their child and email the score to the teacher.


Boyle, O., & Peregoy, S. F. (2013). Reading, writing, and learning in esl: A resource book for teaching k-12 English learners. (6th ed., pp. 2-165). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

IDEA. (2004). Building the legacy: Idea 2004. Retrieved from,root,regs,300,A,300%2E8,c,

National Center for Learning Disabilities (2013). Types of LD. Retrieved from

National Society for the Gifted & Talented (2013). Giftedness Defined. Retrieved from