Feet Under the Table

In this task, a group of children sit around a table. Without peeking, they figure out how many feet are under the table. They can use mathematical tools, such as cubes or drawings, that will help them.

Task Instructions

  1. Seat a small group of students around the table with you and place the counters in the center of the table.
  2. Ask students what they think is under the table. When they say, “feet,” invite them to make noise with their feet to make sure there really are feet down there.
  3. Ask them to figure out, without peeking, how many feet are under the table. Tell them they can use counters, paper or pencils to figure it out. Explain that eventually, they need to write down their thinking on the paper.
  4. Observe the students as they work and support as necessary.
  5. Ask students to share how they represented the feet on their paper and how many feel they think there are altogether.
  6. When all the students are finished, have them peek under the table to check their answers.


  • Counters, 15 per student
  • A small group of students around a table
  • Paper and pencils, one per student


Confer, C. (2005). Feet Under the Table. In Teaching Number Sense, Kindergarten. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.