Counting backward from 20
Counting backward from 20

Counting backward from 20

Students learn to count backward from 20.

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Students learn to count backward from 20. They learn which numbers come before and after a given number to 20.



Learning objective

Students will be able to count backward from numbers up to 20.


Show a number line on the interactive whiteboard and ask students to drag the missing numbers to where they belong in the number sequence. Then show a second number line and ask students if they can determine which numbers are missing. Have students write the missing number on a mini whiteboard or sheet of paper and hold it up before erasing the grey square to reveal the number.


Count from 20 to 10 while pointing at the numbers in the number sequence. Repeat this and ask students to count out loud with you. Next show the ball with the number 20. Ask a student which number comes before 20. Drag the ball away to check their answer. Continue counting backward to 10. Next ask students to drag the numbers to where they belong in the counting sequence, and they need to fill in the missing numbers. Ask students to write the missing numbers on a sheet of paper and to hold them up so you can check their work.

Check that students are able to count backward from 20 by asking the following questions:
- How do you count backward?
- Which number comes before 17?
- Which number comes before 13?


The students are given practice exercises in with and without visual support. They are given a number and are asked to count backward. The number sequences start small and get larger as they progress.


Discuss with students that it is important to be able to count to 20, as you need this to work with numbers. Check that students are able to count backward from 20 to 10. Count backward as a class. One student starts at 20. Another student then says 19. But, students are not allowed to discuss who goes next, so if two students say the number at the same time you have to restart at 20. The game is over when you have counted backward to 10.

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.

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