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Teaching Skip Counting {It’s More Than Chanting!}


Our top tips for Teaching Skip Counting are guaranteed strategies to get kids counting fluently by 2s, 5s, or 100s. {Hint- It’s a lot more than chanting!}

Teaching Skip Counting

Have you ever asked a child what skip counting is? Could they tell you..? They would probably respond with a 2,4,6,8… chant! Which is great except it is just that… a chant!

Before you start teaching skip counting, we challenge you to ask your kids “What is skip counting?” and then ask “WHY do we need it?”

We ask our learners these prior knowledge questions regularly and like to use the Frayer Model thinkboard to record their understandings. They really are an excellent tool and we have one for teaching number sense too!

We have created 4 FREE teaching skip counting Thinkboards just for you! Get them at the very end of the post!

Hope you love using the think board as much as we do, leave us a comment if you do!


4 Free skip counting thinkboard templates

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What You Need To Know About Teaching Skip Counting

Teaching Skip counting is complex and has so many teaching points. We have done the research to find out what it’s all about, and why we teach it.  Stick to this teaching skip counting list and you won’t miss a thing in your lesson planning!

Here’s everything you need to know about teaching skip counting:

Skip Counting is:

  • Counting by a number that is not 1 and it is sometimes called ‘counting by…’ 2’s, 5’s, or by 100’s.
  • A strategy to help kids to count large groups of objects more efficiently
  • Important foundation concept that helps kids develop calculation fluency and number sense
  • The basis of multiplication and division
  • A pre-curser to move students from calculating by counting by ones to using number facts. For example, instead of working out 12 + 4 by counting 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, students can immediately add 4, or possibly add 2 twice

Teaching skip counting with pop sticks


Difficulties kids encounter when learning to skip count

Some of the difficulties kids encounter with skip counting tend to include:

  • Skip Counting backwards
  • Starting from ANY starting point e.g not zero or count by ten starting at 13
  • Counting across a decade, e.g. some kids may say 49, 50, 51 instead of 49, 59, 69
  • Crossing over the decades within 3 digit numbers e.g. reaching 100, 110, & 190 etc.

Activities For Teaching Skip Counting

Students need to skip count every day to help build fluency. Teaching needs to include:

  • Oral counting
  • Counting physical objects to find out how many of something there are – great for counting money too!
  • Writing the skip counting number string on a grid – Please make sure that you don’t always use a 10 by 10 grid as the children just see a visual pattern (colouring in) and not the place value changes in the multiples.
  • On a number line and in It is appropriate at every level, even in a more advanced context using negative numbers, fractions and decimals
  • Visual Skip Counting – Use a number visual like Brent Vorgey’s to help students explore visual patterns in skip counting sequences. (Found in Jo Boalers Mindset Maths).
    • Ask your students to use colour pencils to represent the skip counting patterns

Visualizing skip counting Brent Vorgys pattern

Free Skip Counting Think Board

Here our the 4 templates for teaching skip counting. Click the image BELOW to get them!

We used a combination of the Frayer Model & the Think Board to create them, including:

  • Pre-filled think board including prompts for;  Definition – in students own words, Process – A space for kids to write the steps of how to skip count, a great one for partners to test out, Facts/Characteristics – a space to write as much as they can about skip counting, Examples and Non- Examples – show examples of skip counting and what’s not an example of skip counting
  • Board 2 has the same headings Definition, Process, Examples-Non-Examples – Facts/ Characteristics –  but without the student prompts in each box
  • The third free skip counting template includes spaces for kids to show skip counting on a number line (forwards, backwards from any starting point), with materials, and the process of how to skip count
  • The last free thinkboard template is a total blank so you can create your own!


Click this image to get your free worksheets.


Free Skip Counting Think Boards for teaching skip counting


Products Created By A Plus Teaching Resources

Think Board BLM
Multiplication Strategies Kit
Number of the day Activities Pack
Number mazes Games Pack
Mental maths Games
Problem Solving Kit

Hope You love using the think board as much as we do, leave us a comment if you do!



Teaching Multiplication Strategies Kit

Teaching Multiplication Strategies

free skip counting printable number games

Free skip counting printable number games

think board templates

Think Board Templates




The A Plus Teacher has been a Primary School Numeracy Curriculum Leader and Coach for 16 years and now advisors A Plus Teaching Resources about Teaching Numeracy

The A+ Team is Passionate About helping educators to save time so that they can concentrate on the most important job in the world… Teaching! The Team Creates Time Saving, Tried & Tested, Hands-on, Teaching Resources, Ideas, Organisers, Checklists, Printables, Posters, & Games!

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