Numeracy Building: Why Skip Count?

Skip counting is essential for building numeracy skills

build numeracy sklp counting on a numberline

One of the first tasks we ask of our students in our informal assessments is to skip count - both forward and backward. Why? It gives a quick snapshot of students' numeracy skills and can identify missing pieces in their understanding. I once asked a fourth grader to skip count by 2s and she counted all the way to 50 without saying the word "six" - I let her continue to see if she would include six eventually - and in assessments, we don't give feedback. No wonder she was struggling. This child stuck with Mindguide until middle school and eventually reached grade level proficiency.

Learning to skip count lays a strong foundation for understanding patterns and developing number sense. It serves as a precursor to learning multiplication. By counting by twos, fives, or tens, learners see and hear the repetition in number sequences, which builds their ability to predict and organize numbers. Mastering skip counting makes learning multiplication tables much easier. Eventually, students make a mental map of our number system, which supports mathematical fluency and problem-solving.

Repeated skip counting practice promotes mathematical fluency by helping children quickly and accurately recall number sequences. This fluency is crucial for mental math calculations and lays the groundwork for tackling more complex mathematical operations in the future.Learning skip counting is a fundamental aspect of building numeracy skills in young children. It helps them develop a strong mathematical foundation, prepares them for more advanced mathematical concepts, and fosters confidence and fluency in numerical operations.