How to Teach K.CC.A.1

K.CC.A.1 is a part of the major cluster Know Number Names and the Count Sequence (K.CC.A). K.CC.A is a major cluster, which means that it is important to focus attention here as major work represents 65 to 80 percent of the grade level content.  Below I will break down the focus of each standard as well as the common misconceptions, prerequisite knowledge, vocabulary, and strategies to support students with disabilities.

What does the standard say?

K.CC.A.1 states that students should count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

About K.CC.A.1

Students learn math standard K.CC.A.1 and see counting as a tool for arriving at a number. Younger students frequently imitate counting with no apparent purpose or significance at first. In a one-to-one relationship, coordinating the number words, touching or moving things may be little more than a matching task. However, students’ construction of meaning for the conceptual idea of counting is aided by reciting number words as a chant or repetitive method (rote counting). They will learn to count before understanding cardinality, which is the concept that the last count word represents the whole amount of the set.

Common Misconceptions for K.CC.A.1

When teaching K.CC.A.1, it’s important to keep in mind that students may not recognize zero as a number. To represent the amount of items left after all items have been taken away, have students write 0 and use zero. When describing this, avoid using the word none.   You may have some students say  “Twenty-eight, twenty-nine, twenty-ten,” when counting decades. They are counting from 1 to 10 in order so may make this mistake. Use a hundreds chart so that students can observe how the numbers progress as they count.

Prerequisite Skills

Students may or may not have pre-kindergarten experience counting from 1–20 or beyond


count, after, next, ones, tens, decade numbers (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100), number names from 1 to 100

Strategies to Support Students with Disabilities

● Use a variety of nursery rhymes and number songs to help associate number sequence with familiar situations (“One, two, buckle my shoe,” “One potato, two potato,” etc.)

● Use kinesthetic and/or auditory cues while counting (clapping, jumping, whistles, etc.)

● Count along a number line

● Count along a hundreds chart

● Integrate counting with calendar routines


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