This is the ninth blog post in a series about Counting Principles. These principles are helpful when developing children’s number sense. It’s not enough for them to learn to count by rote, they have to develop a strong foundation of numbers and counting.
Unitizing is the ninth principle that I am taking a deep dive into.
You can see the other Counting Principle blog posts here.
What is Unitizing?
The broad definition of unitizing is when you bundle a group of objects into smaller sets (like diving an order of boxes onto pallets). With the counting principles, we discuss unitizing as making groups of 10s, 100s, 1000s, etc. This is a shift in using one-to-one correspondence skills, because now 1 can mean 1 bundle of 10. Your kindergarten students may not be ready to internalize this learning, but you should still be exposing them to it.
Why is Unitizing important?
It is the foundation of fractions and place value. Students need to have a clear understanding of unitizing before the can move on to these higher levels of thinking.
Activities to Work on Unitizing
Practice counting by 10s so that when students are ready to begin unitizing, they have the ability to skip count.
Practice unitizing using concrete materials and model how you would count groups of 10.
Unitizing Work Mat
Use popsicle sticks and these work mats to create groups of ten. Then you can count your groups of ten!
If you would like to use these cards, they are a free download in my Resource Library (if you do not have he password, sign up for my newsletter and it will be sent to you):
Are your students ready to move on to fractions? This Easy Print and Prep pack is perfect for introducing fractions to your students with hands-on activities.