In recent months, I’ve received a lot of questions asking how I create the progression videos. Here’s how it all goes down.

Step 1: Research

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There are so many great resources available for early number concepts but I continually found myself coming back to Clements and Sarama for this progression. Their research is highlighted throughout Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics (PreK-2).  

I also leaned on the work of Cathy Fosnot and Kathy Richardson.  Every time I revisit their work I’m reminded how much room for growth I have as an educator. They keep me hungry.

Step 2: Sketch a draft progression

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Step 3: Set the stage 


Lay out the manipulatives in order.



Adjust the high-tech overhead video capturing hardware system.


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Roll out the butcher paper.

Step 4: Go Time

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It never turns out right the first time…or the fifth time for that matter. The toughest part is that it all has to be done right in one shot.

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 I jam out to music while working on the videos.

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Step 5: Video Editing

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I mute all the sound and speed up the entire video. I’ll slow roll small pieces where I need to verbally flesh out more understanding. The turtle and rabbit show where I played with speed.

I use Apple Motion for most of my video editing but for the progression videos, iMovie does the trick.

Step 6: The voiceover

I’ll highlight one or two things on index cards and let the rest flow. The toughest part is always the first 15 seconds.  That usually gets a full card so I don’t sound like a blundering fool. Although some may say that I still do.


Once the notes are scribbled, I open up Quicktime, start a new screen recording, play the video full screen, and do the voiceover.

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Step 7: Publish and share

Here’s the published version of the Progression of Early Number and Counting. If you or your students give this a try I’d love to check it out.  If you have any questions just let me know.  All of us are smarter than one of us.


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