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Counting Crackers

About this video

Children in this mixed-age early childhood center are taking part in open snack. The snack bar is open for about 45 minutes. Children prepare their snack at the snack bar (a table) and then carry it to a designated snack table to eat it. Pitchers of drinks, cups, napkins, and utensils are available at the snack table. Sometimes there are bowls of additional food set out on the snack table with a rebus instruction card. The children in this clip discuss the rebus instructions about the number of crackers to take. After Clare demonstrates counting out four crackers, others follow suit.

Snack time can be a wonderful time for conversation. In this case, it is also a great opportunity for math and literacy experiences.



Travis (4.4 years old): Do you have 5? You get 4 (standing and pointing to cue card). Do you get 4?

Clare (4.11 years old): I know how to count to four—1, 2, 3, 4 (transfers a cracker from the serving bowl to her napkin for each number she says).

Justin, 3.7 years old, takes 4 crackers from the serving bowl and lines them up to the right of his bowl as Clare counts.

Travis: (To Clare.) Hey, you took it! (Slides the bowl back toward his place and begins to count out crackers.)

Benchmarks and How They Were Met

BenchmarksHow They Were Met
Language Arts
2.C.ECa: Interact with a variety of types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems, rhymes, songs).
Travis referred to symbols on the cue card when he reminded classmates that they should take 4 crackers, not 5.
Language Arts
4.D.ECa: Recognize own name and common signs and labels in the environment.
The children knew that the symbols on the card stood for crackers.
6.A.ECa: Count with understanding and recognize “how many” in small sets up to 5.
Children discussed and counted the crackers. Clare counted aloud to 4. Justin lined up 4 crackers next to his bowl.
6.A.ECd: Connect numbers to quantities they represent using physical models and informal representations.
Clare, Travis, and Justin used crackers to count with one-to-one correspondence.
Social/emotional Development
30.C.ECc: Show some initiative, self-direction, and independence in actions.
The children independently prepared their snacks and came to the snack table. Clare volunteered to demonstrate counting.

Note: This video clip was made possible by STARnet Regions I & III with funding from the Illinois State Board of Education.

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Preschool Program

Intended audience(s):
  • Teachers / Service providers

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2017