Prekinder to Grade 2 Mathematics


Tally Marks

Tally Marks

Tally Marks help you to keep track of how many times something happens. You might want to count the number of times you get a \(6\) when you roll a die, or keep track of the answers to questions on a survey.

Tally marks are easy to use. They're just marks we write down. One vertical stroke means "one", and we keep them together in groups of five. Let's have a look at the tally marks from \(1\) to \(4\):

Tally Marks

To make a group of five tally marks, we draw lines for our first four marks, and then draw a diagonal line across them like this:

Tally Marks

We don't have to stop once we've reached five. We just keep adding strokes after our group of five until we're ready for our next group of five, and so on. Here are the tally marks for the numbers from \(6\) to \(9\):

Tally Marks

Remember, every time you get to the fifth number in a group, draw it as a diagonal line across the first four. This makes it easy to find groups of five when you're adding up the total.


Let's have a look at a couple of examples of tally marks for bigger numbers:

Tally Marks
This example shows the tally marks for \(14\). Do you see the two groups of \(5\) (making \(10\)) and the \(4\) extra ones?

Tally Marks
Here we have the tally marks for \(17\). This time, there are three groups of \(5\), making \(15\), and two extra ones.

Survey Results

Tally Marks

Gus the snail has a problem with feral caterpillars in his garden. They keep eating all of the vegetables. Gus decides that the best way to tackle the problem is to do a survey to find out which vegetables the caterpillars like least, and then plant those. He interviews the caterpillars and records their answers in a table using tally marks.
Tally Marks

Here is a table showing the results of Gus' survey:

Tally Marks

Each time a caterpillar told Gus that their favourite vegetable was lettuce, broccoli, cabbage or brussels sprouts, Gus added a tally mark to the corresponding row of the table. After he had interviewed all of the caterpillars, he totalled up his tallies, and found that \(21\) caterpillars liked cabbage best, \(17\) liked lettuce best, \(12\) liked broccoli and only \(6\) liked brussels sprouts best. The problem is that Gus doesn't particularly like brussels sprouts either, so he doesn't really want to plant nothing but them.

Why don't you do what Gus did and survey your friends about something like their favourite colour, or their favourite movie? Use a table and tally marks to keep track of your results. You never know what you might find out!


This mini book covers the core of Math for Foundation, Grade 1 and Grade 2 mathematics including 

  1. Numbers
  2. Addition
  3. Subtraction
  4. Division
  5. Algebra
  6. Geometry
  7. Data
  8. Estimation
  9. Probability/Chance
  10. Measurement
  11. Time 
  12. Money
  13. and much more

This material is provided free of cost for Parent looking for some tricks for their Prekinder, Kinder, Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 children



Grade 1/Year 1, Grade 2/Year 2, Prep, Foundation, Kinder and Pre-Kinder

Learning Objectives

These lessons are for kids aged 4-8 with the core objective to expose their brains to concepts of addition, subtraction, division, algebra and much more.

Author: Subject Coach
Added on: 6th Apr 2018

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