"What in the world are you talking about? What in the world is a counting circle?"; you might be asking yourself as you read the title. I will tell you it is exactly as the title says...you are in a circle counting.You may be thinking: "O you are counting 1,2,3,4...1010. that seems way easy." In all reality, the counting circle can be that easy or it can be created into a harder game.
The set up of the game is very simple. You gather your group/students into a large circle. The teacher (or student) will pick a number for the counting circle to start with. Then the teacher (or student) will decide on the number that will be added or subtracted to the starting number. The first student in the circle will take the original number and add or subtract the teacher's number in his/her head. The next student in the circle will take the previous students answer and add or subtract the teacher's number in his.her head. This will continue around the circle until the teacher decides the number line is done. Then the teacher will pick a student and ask the group what their number would be once it was their turn.
Starting number: 432
Teacher's number: +32
1st student: 464
2nd student: 496
3rd student: 528
Experience from Game
What can we learn from counting in a circle? When the game is over ask the students to think about the way they got their number in their heads. Then the teacher will randomly pick a student and ask to explain how they came up with their answer. This way will be written on the board. This will continue until all possible ways to come up with the answer is up on the board. This shows students that there are many ways to get the correct answer. Some ways will be easier than others, while others might make more sense to the student might not make much sense to the student standing next to them.
Side note: Continue the counting circle even if a student gets the number wrong-just write the number on the board. This will create a challenge for the following students.