How to Assess Rote Counting

Rote counting is a simple, yet important foundation of, early childhood math skills.  Parents want to know what is rote counting, while teachers are looking for rote counting assessments.  Whether you are a parent or teacher, I’m here to help.


Let’s take a look at what rote counting is, tips for teaching counting skills, and how to assess the kids’ progress when counting aloud.



What is Rote Counting?

Rote Counting in kindergarten is the basic skill of verbally reciting numbers in sequential order.

It is the foundation of number sense; a precursor to all math skills.

It’s important to know, rote counting is not the same as giving a quantity of objects, or identifying numbers.  Instead, this is an early childhood math skill where the kids learn to recite numbers in sequential order from memory.




To paint a picture of what rote counting is, picture a kid sitting at the table, ready to eat dinner, and he starts counting.  Not counting the objects on the plate, but simply counting out loud to see how high he can go…that is rote counting.  On the contrary, if that same child sat down at the table and began counting how many plates are on the table, that is one-to-one correspondence- understanding the relation between and object and a number.


Tips for Teaching Rote Counting

Thankfully, rote counting in kindergarten doesn’t require much direct instruction. Instead, the natural practice of counting EVERYTHING aloud with the students becomes their habit, too.

The more children are exposed to counting aloud, the more natural the skill becomes.


Here are some examples of how to build rote counting in kindergarten:

  • Counting for fun!  Randomly start counting throughout the day with your child.
  • Songs and poems
  • Clap and count.
  • Stomp and count.
  • Count aloud to see how long it takes to complete various tasks. (clean up, walk across the room, finding hidden objects, etc)
  • Hide and go seek. Count aloud while waiting for the others to hide.



How to Assess Rote Counting

Here’s the fun part!

A pre-assessment is given at the start of school to gather baseline data in preK, kindergarten, and first grade.  The kids should then be assessed near the end of each quarter.

When assessing, tell the kids to count as high as they can, starting at 1.

Documenting early childhood counting skills is a breeze with these printable 100’s charts.

Simply mark the highest number the child counted to, without making any errors.   Here is an example of a completed counting assessment for kindergarten.




With these printable 100’s charts for kindergarten, students are expected to count aloud to 100, by 1’s and 10’s.

You can record the students counting to 100 four times throughout the year using this rote counting assessment sheet.


Celebrating the 100th day of school is the perfect time to incorporate fun activities and assessments.  Check out Allie the Gypsy Teacher’s post for tips on celebrating the 100th day of school! Set up a station where every student gets to count aloud to 100 on their own, then record their answers on this 100’s chart.


I created this printable counting assessment as a simplified method to keep track of my students number skills and counting growth throughout the year.  Again, students are not asked to identify the numbers.


They are called over, one-on-one, and asked to count as high as they can.  When the children are counting, I do not have them look at the number chart.




Tracking Counting Skills

Now that you know how to assess rote counting, let’s look at how to track the kids’ early childhood math skills.

Whether you are homeschooling or teaching kindergarten, here’s a tip for tracking their growth on one sheet throughout the year.


In the picture below, you can see I used different colors to mark how high the kid could count during each quarterly math assessment.

Keeping track of the students growth on one page allows them to quickly see the number they previously counted to, and set personal growth goals for the following quarter.

This printable math assessment is great for progress monitoring, response to intervention documentation, and keeping parents informed. 




As children begin to count, documenting and assessing their growth is so rewarding!  You can use Counting to 100 worksheets.


As a bonus, you also get 100’s chart worksheets with missing numbers, tracing numbers, and a goal poster for positive affirmation as kids work their way towards meeting the goal you’ve established.

A combination of class goals. daily practice, and number talks will build any child’s early math skills.

Before you go, here are a few blog posts you may enjoy:

5 Tips for Number Talks with Kids

35 Fun Ideas for Indoor Recess

5 Tips for Starting Centers in Kindergarten

115 Top Picks for Poem of the Day for Kids



Rote Counting