Counting backward from 10.
Counting backward from 10.

Counting backward from 10.

Students learn to count backward from 10.

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Students learn to count backward from 10. They learn which numbers come before and after a given number to 10.

Common core standard(s)



Discuss with students that it is important to be able to count backward from 10, because learning to count means you will be able to learn how to calculate. You use counting backward when you, for example, count down to the. New Year! You also need to be able to count backward to solve math problems.


Hand out number cards from 1 to 10 to the students. Multiple students should have the same number. Count forward as a class, starting at 1. When the number that is on their card is said, the student(s) stand up. Next, show the number sequence on the board with missing numbers. Drag the numbers to where they belong in the number sequence.


Show the number sequence from 1 to 10 and discuss with students that this order does not change. When counting backward, start at the 10 and then move left on the number sequence. At every count backward, you get the previous number. Count from 10 to 1 taking steps backward, showing the number cards. Then ask students to count out loud while taking steps backward. Finally ask students to take steps but to say the numbers in their head instead of out loud. Have students write the steps on a sheet of paper. As a class, practice filling in the missing number in the counting sequence. Ask students to write the missing numbers on a sheet of paper and hold them up to check their work.

Check that students are able to coutn backward from 10 by asking the following questions:
- How do you count backward?
- Which number comes before 6?
- Which number comes before 4?

Guided practice

Students practice completing number sequences, counting backward. They practice with filling on one or more numbers in a given sequence.


Discuss with students that it is important to be able to count backward from 10, as you need to be able to count to solve math problems. Form groups. Give each group a set of number cards to 10. Place the cards in a stack upside down on the table and tell the students that they must flip the cards over one by one. They must count back to 1 from the number they drew. Then as a class fill in the numbers missing from the number sequence.

Teaching tips

Students who have difficulty with this learning goal can be supported by going through the number sequence out loud. Students can practice counting forward before counting backward.

Instruction materials

Number cards to 10.

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