In the age of technology the idea that we sometimes need to make counting easier or faster seems a bit old fashioned. Tallies are extremely useful for recording ongoing results, often from multiple sources. I’m sure there’s an app that can help you count things in the same way as tallying, but sometimes it’s just easier to use a pen and a piece of paper.

  • Tallying up things in the class room is a great way to get kids up and moving while they practice their tallying skills. Counting different objects at the same time is a perfect example of why tally marks are useful for keeping track while you count things.
  • Tallies are incredibly useful when teaching students statistics. They provide a visual representation of the data while you’re collecting it, and make it easy to discover things like mean, median, and mode. There are many things within the classroom or around the school that could be used as statistical data. Hair colour and eye colour are easy and fun data to collect and compare.
  • The tally marks we are familiar with are not the only counting shorthand. Different cultures around the world use different kinds of tallies. Have your students research some of the different systems and discuss which they think is best.
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