Friday, December 13, 2013

Counting and Ordering Numbers under 1000

A skill I notice many of my second graders (and some of my third graders!) struggling with is counting forward and backward and ordering numbers within 1000.  I want to share with you a quick and easy to manage activity I do with kids in the second half of second grade or anytime after that if they still need work on the concept.

Here are the Common Core Standards addressed by this activity

CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.A.2 Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.

CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.A.3 Read and write numbers to 1000 using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form.

CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.A.4 Compare two three-digit numbers based on meanings of the hundreds, tens, and ones digits, using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons.

The hardest part with the counting and writing of numerals is when kids have to pull through a century.  I do this same activity with other numbers under 1000 but today will be showing you how I really focus work on pulling through the century.

I pulled 4 kids out who were having a difficult time to do this activity.  The cards we made as a result of the activity will be used with the whole class.  All you need is a box of 2'' x 3'' flashcards or some cardstock or index cards cut to be around 2 inches.

After some counting as a warm-up focusing on pulling through a century, I assign each kid a set of cards I want them to make and give them a starting number and an ending number.

Here are the 4 kids I worked with today and the numbers I wanted  them to record on their cards.  This lets them practice writing some of the trickier numbers like 808 and 401.  
 They put the cards in counting order from least to greatest.  When they have all the cards made, I have them read them from least to greatest (counting forward within 1000) and then from greatest to least (counting backward within 1000). I have them write them in pencil and once they get approval that they are all correct, they go over the pencil with a marker.

This student counts from 594 to 603.
This student works on their card set.

As kids finish, I have them read their neighbors cards and check with folks to see if they are correct.  Once these cards are made and we have agreed that they are correct, they mix them up and paper clip them together.  They are now ready to be used by other kids as a quick warm up, exit ticket or math station.  

I love quick, focused activities that give you a lot of learning with little prep or directions needed.


  1. Great idea for practicing all those tricky numbers! I'm going to do that with my ones for numbers to 100.

    1. I do the same thing with numbers in lower ranges for younger kids! Works great.

  2. This is a nice activity for my students who struggle with counting and ordering numbers. I can use it in small groups or have a parents do this as well. thanks