K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • recognize the numerals 0-10.
  • model sets to match the numerals 0-10.
  • use one-to-one correspondence counting from 0-10.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

35 minutes



This is an introduction level lesson, therefore prior knowledge is not necessary. It is suggested that this lesson be included in a unit either developed around bears or the color blue so that there is integration of the math skills.


  1. The teacher will direct the children to the title of the book along with the cover, asking the children to tell what they think the story will be about.
  2. The teacher will then read the book and lead the children in a retelling when completed.
  3. The teacher will then return to one of the pages where Sal or the Bear drops the blueberries into the pail, asking how many blueberries were dropped into the pail.
  4. After a correct response from a child, the teacher will ask another student to come up to the felt board and choose the correct numerals (made from the patterns attachment out of felt) that represents the number of berries that were in the pail.
  5. The teacher will then show the felt pail and berries. Have a child pick a numeral and then have the class chorally respond what number it represents. Then have another child come and put that many berries in the pail. Repeat this process several times until the teacher feels that the group has a good understanding of the concepts. Then have each color and cut out their own ail and berries set.
  6. When they are finished, the teacher will direct them to a numeral on the felt board. Ask the children to tell what numeral this is. Then have the children place that many berries in their own pail.
  7. The teacher and assistant will monitor the class checking for understanding by each child. Repeat this until all the numerals have been used at least once.
  8. If the teacher feels that understanding is sufficient, the teacher may choose to continue the learning by adding problems like ‘If you have two berries in your pail and then pick up two more, how many do you have?’ or ‘If Sal and the little bear wanted to share their berries equally and they had six berries, how many would each have?’
  9. As a closure to the lesson, the teacher should have the students direct their attention to the felt board again. Place the numerals on the board one at a time. Have the children chorally answer what number the numeral represents. Then have a child come and put that many berries in the bucket as the class counts with them. Encourage the children to take their pails home and share the story along with the concepts they learned with their families.


The teacher and assistant will monitor the children when they are working with their own pails. The child should be able to place the correct number of berries in their pail and the teachers should also be listening closely to note if one-to-one correspondence is present. This is an introduction lesson, so follow-up instruction may be necessary before formal assessment is completed.

Supplemental information

Moore, Jo Ellen and Tryon, Leslie. BEARS, BEARS, BEARS. Evan-Moore Corp., 1988, pg. 8.


I teach this lesson in a multi-age classroom and have found that it lends itself very well to higher knowledge. I usually use a variety of different story problems with the children and include their names and allow them to act out the story such as “Joe had 2 berries in his pail and Sam came along and dropped 2 more in. How many blueberries does Joe have now?” It is also a lot of fun to have some real blueberries stashed away to share at the end of the lesson. In the area I teach, many of the children have never even seen a real blueberry when they enter Kindergarten. It is also a good idea to have the children record what they have learned in a Math journal. This aids them in writing for a purpose.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Literature

        • Kindergarten
          • K.RL.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
          • K.RL.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Kindergarten

        • Counting & Cardinality
          • K.CC.3Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
          • K.CC.4Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality. When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only...
          • K.CC.5Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
        • Operations & Algebraic Thinking
          • K.OAT.1Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)


  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.03: Use preparation strategies to activate prior knowledge and experience before and during the reading of a text.
    • Objective 2.04: Formulate questions that a text might answer before beginning to read (e.g., what will happen in this story, who might this be, where do you think this happens).

Mathematics (2004)


  • Goal 1: Number and Operations - The learner will recognize, model, and write whole numbers through 30.
    • Objective 1.01: Develop number sense for whole numbers through 30.
      • Connect model, number word (orally), and number, using a variety of representations.
      • Count objects in a set.
      • Read and write numerals.
      • Compare and order sets and numbers.
      • Use ordinals (1st-10th).
      • Estimate quantities fewer than or equal to 10.
      • Recognize equivalence in sets and numbers 1-10.
    • Objective 1.02: Share equally (divide) between two people; explain.
    • Objective 1.03: Solve problems and share solutions to problems in small groups.