Counting a group of objects requires rote counting, 1 to 1 correspondence, and being able to state the amount counted when asked. 1 to 1 correspondence is the ability to count each object in the group without skipping or counting an object twice…one at a time. Throughout the preschool class/morning teachers constantly encourage each student to count…How many blocks do you have? How many cookies did you make with the play-dough? How many crackers did I give you? Counting a group of objects is a basic and essential part of math skills that leads into simple addition and subtraction. We may ask the child to eat a cracker and tell us how many they have left or after giving more crackers at snack the teacher may ask the child how many crackers did he/she eat all together. When counting we also work on the concepts of more, less, and same.
When counting if your child is having trouble with 1 to 1 correspondence (one at a time), there are several ways to help a child learn to count all the object.
1. While counting a group, move each objects from the counting group to a group that has been counted. Have the child slide the objects up or over–away from the group he/she is counting.
2. While counting a group, first place the objects in the group in a line. This makes it easier to count each object
3. Have the child point to each object as he/she is counting.
4. If you have a number line, the child can match each object in the group to a number on the number line(starting with one) then count each object one at a time while looking at the numbers to reinforce number recognition.
After counting the group of objects, always ask your child to repeat for you how many he/she counted. Some preschoolers will start to count the group again. With practice they will understand that they need to just give you the last number counted when you ask them, “How many?”
I have attached a counting homework sheet CountingHomework.20 to use to count objects around your house. During our “Shelter at home” time, challenge your child to count something new each day. It can become a part of your morning routine.
Have fun counting!