A child's ability to count involves many cognitive processes and is not as simple as we may seem to think. Even if they can prattle off numbers in sequence that still does not relate a mathematical understanding of what they are doing. Learning to count involves a number of principles or ideas that they must be able to demonstrate.
- Each number must be given only ONE name.
- The order of name placing is fixed, for example, when counting forward three must follow two.
- The order of objects to be counted does not matter.
- The last number says how many objects there are in total.
- The way the objects are arranged will not affect how many there are in total.
Each of the principles above may pose difficult for some students. This means that we need to spend a considerable amount of time checking the understanding of each of our students and provide them with the assistance that they may need. Every child will be able to demonstrate their level of mathematical understanding once multiple opportunities for use are given to them in the classroom. Below are best practices in teaching counting and cardinality presented by fellow teachers.
Let's Count! Learning About Number in Multiple Ways
Mingle and Count: A Game of Number Sense
Counting Objects and Ordering Numbers
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