Lesson 1: Numbers 1-5

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How do we explain our thinking mathematically?
  • How do we show the value of a given quantity?
  • What are the different ways to measure an amount?
  • How do we make a plan to count numbers?

Facts and Definitions

  • Number: a quantity of objects.
  • A number can be shown numerically (2), in word form (two), and symbolically ($$).
  • Numbers follow a sequential order.


  • Develop a plan for counting
  • Use manipulatives and graphic organizers to show number values and solve problems
  • Recognize the quantity of objects with the corresponding numeral
  • Write numbers 1-5 symbolically, numerically, and in word form
  • Count to 20, starting at any number less than 20. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral


  • Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
  • abacus (kit)
  • colored dot stickers (kit)
  • colored pencils or markers
  • construction paper (kit)
  • counters (kit)
  • crayons
  • glue
  • number cards (kit)
  • paper plates (kit)* (Activity 6 - optional)
  • pennies, nickels, and dimes
  • play dollar bills (kit)
  • scissors
  • set of double-nine dominoes (kit)
  • small plastic baggies* (Introduction - optional)
  • stapler

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed


Materials: small plastic baggies*
During the first two lessons, your child will be reviewing the numbers 1-5 and learning how to show them in word form and number form using manipulatives and finger patterns. He'll also be practicing many routines that he'll use throughout this and other units moving forward.

NOTE: Several math units in this level require coins for a variety of activities. We recommend that you begin collecting the coins now, put them in a baggie, and keep them with the rest of your math materials for easy access. If you prefer, you can keep the pennies, nickels, and dimes in separate bags. You should gather at least 20 pennies, 10 nickels, and 10 dimes.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
Read aloud the first half (numbers 1-5) of the book Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews. As you read the book, show your child how to touch each dot as you count, and ask him to do the same to give him practice with one-to-one correspondence. If he can touch and count the dots without your help, allow him to do so, but observe to make sure that he's doing it correctly.

When you've finished reading the book, pose the following questions. Feel free to ask each question more than once to give your child extra practice with identifying given numbers of objects.
  1. Can you find one object in the room?
  2. Can you find two objects in the room?
  3. Can you find three objects in the room?
  4. Can you find four objects in the room?
  5. Can you find five objects in the room?