Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Question of the Day Counting

Stephanie Little
Orange County Schools


This daily activity is an easy and fun way to involve children in counting objects. The students answer a daily question and then count to see how many responded with yes or no. Numbers are written in a math journal. Results are then discussed.


The student counts up to 10 or more objects using verbal names and one-to-one correspondence.


-Magnetic board (large enough to display the question of the day, the yes or no responses and laminated cards with the children’s names)
-Student names written and laminated individually on a pattern (ex. pencil, apple)
-Yes and no written on construction paper and laminated individually
-Math journal for each student
-Pencil for each student
-Magnetic strips
-Plain paper to use as a checklist


1. Purchase a magnetic board if you do not have a magnetic chalkboard.
2. Write out different questions of the day on sentence strips and have them laminated. (Did you bring your lunch today? Are you wearing blue? Did you walk to school?)
3. Write yes and no separately on construction paper and have them laminated. Put a magnetic strip on each piece.
4. Write the children’s names separately on a paper pattern (such as an apple, or pencil cutout) and have them laminated. Put a magnetic strip on each piece.
5. Put the question of the day (sentence strip) on the board with yes and no on either side of it.
6. Put the children’s names on the board under the sentence strip.


NOTE: This is a daily lesson.

1. Children read the question of the day (Did you ride in a car to school?) when they enter the room each morning.

2. Children answer the question by moving their name and putting it under yes or no.

3. When all children have arrived and moved their name, they begin taking turns counting the names and writing the responses in their math journals. (While children are taking turns counting, the teacher is helping children that need help with counting and writing in the journal, and the children are getting ready for the day--sharpening pencils, emptying backpacks, etc.)

4. Each table discusses in a small group what they wrote in the journal.

5. The teacher chooses one child daily to come to the magnetic board.

6. The child orally reads the question of the day and then counts aloud the number of children that chose yes and no.

7. The teacher (or child) writes the numbers on the board.

8. The child explains to the class how he/she counted the names; the class and teacher gives feedback on the explanation.

9. Record responses on a checklist. (See Assessments)


This is a formative assessment. Students should be able to count the names on the white board using one-to-one correspondence.

Observe each student counting the names when it is his/her turn to participate and when working daily on this activity. Students should be able to orally respond with the correct number of names on the board. Students should be able to share and discuss counting the objects in a small group and with the whole class. Teacher reads the math journals and uses a plain piece of paper as a checklist to record the responses. Names should be listed on the left-hand side and dates recorded when a child participates. Columns would include journal entry, one-to-one correspondence, and verbal names. Dating on the checklist will show growth and whose turn it is to participate orally. Circle the date each time the student answers with 100% accuracy.


1. Have the children draw and color the number of objects needed to show the numbers written in the math journals. As children master this activity, you may compare the two numbers using math vocabulary such as: bigger, smaller, greater, less, equal, unequal, odd, even, more, same, different, larger, fewer.
2. Use high-frequency and new vocabulary/reading words when writing the question of the day.
3. Children may count the number of words in the sentence and the number of letters in each word, and discuss capital letters and punctuation marks in the question of the day.
4. Modification: Some students may need extra help in reading the question of the day and counting the names. This could be completed with a friend in the class instead of individually.
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