Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

The Different Ways of Counting

There’s more to counting than the ability to memorize a sequence of words by rote. Children display one-to-one correspondence when they count a group of objects while physically or mentally touching each object once, and only once. The concept of Invariance of Number is shown when the number of objects does not change if the objects are displaced, separated into groups or hidden, for example. Inclusion describes the number labeling how many objects in a group includes all the objects in the group. It does not matter in which order the objects are placed, the number remains the same. For instance, “four” indicates the total number of marbles, rather than just the fourth marble. Ordinal Counting is the number name indicates the position of something in a series (First, second, third,…). Children show an ability to count on when they can count a group of objects and continue from the total when an additional group of objects are added, without needing to start at one again. (Five, six, seven, eight.) These are all considered ways of counting, and yet they are different but related skills. Take advantage of natural opportunities during the day to count in context of real-life experiences such as preparing snacks or counting out items to share. Count forward and backwards, by various groupings (two’s, five’s and ten’s…). Quick thirty-second counting activities can be done easily during free moments throughout the day.

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