Counting – Reciting Numbers is Not Counting

Abacus Girl

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Counting – Reciting Numbers is Not Counting! I can remember learning to count. Counting was so abstract. We just counted for the sake of counting, reciting numbers each day. There was no correlation to the real world and counting. Yes, I knew many counting songs and counting rhymes but we were not given the hands on experience that is needed to count.

Children learn by doing, experiencing and talking. If you get them to count to twenty without making any reference to any objects, they will be unable to count accurately when given a set of objects to count. What tends to happen is when they are given a set of objects to count, they fail to recognise that to count a given quantity one has to count accurately and not miss out objects or count them twice.
I am not saying that recite counting is not beneficial, as it is useful for testing their knowledge. What I am saying is that counting needs to be specific, and in order for a child to count they need to count something, reciting numbers is not counting.

  • Start by getting them to recite numbers up to ten. Use real objects and point to them. This will help with counting.
  • Give them items to count.
  • Make them touch each item they are counting.
  • When counting objects, get them to move each object to the side, to separate them from the rest of the objects.
  • Slow them down. Often, if they are used to just reciting numbers, they go too fast when counting objects.
  • Get them to count all sorts of things from counting  bricks, oranges, houses, patterns on the carpet, the stairs and their fingers.
  • Let them count their fingers, toes , ears and eyes. Often young children are not aware of how many fingers and toes they have , even if they can count up to ten, so don’t forget to make it personal.
  • Give them plenty of practice with counting  – each day do ten or fifteen minutes. Use missing number worksheets. You can also quickly write some of these out by hand, you don’t always have to print out a worksheet.
  • At first, your child may only be able to count up to a small number maybe six or seven. With time, this will increase. Set a target to of five , then ten and so on.
  • Introduce your child to what numbers look like. You can use large playing cards for this or just write numbers and cut them out. Whilst they are counting, show them the numbers on the cards.
  • Let your child write the numbers down. This will give practice with handwriting skills.
  • Sing counting songs and learn counting rhymes.
  • Aside from the ten or fifteen minutes a day, make counting part of your daily life. Encourage your child to count and count with them when out shopping, cooking, setting the table – just count!

Just Count √

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Counting pasta is fun. Just Count!

Counting in twos, fives and tens

Once your child is confident with counting in ones, introduce them to counting in twos and fives. Introduce twos and tens by using objects to explain what what is actually happening. So if you want to count in twos, get some pasta:

  • First count the pasta in ones. Then count them in twos.
  • Draw you child’s attention to the fact that even if they count in twos or ones, you will still have the same quantity at the end.

Once they have mastered counting in twos, you can move on to tens and fives in the same way.
Good Luck.

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Counting with money.

Counting to 100

Next help your child count to 100:
Once your child can count in tens they are ready to counting up to 100. Start with getting to twenty first. Give plenty of practice.

  • Use a fill in the missing numbers sheet to really reinforce what they have learned.
  • Once they are proficient.
  • Move on the counting to 30.
  • Again, plenty of practice and missing numbers number worksheets will help with counting.
  • Show your child written numbers to thirty. Show them the pattern of the units just going up in ones and then after 9 we jump to thirty.
  • Remind your child that counting to 100 follows the same pattern as when they counted to 10.
  • Children do not have to count 100 objects. if you apply what I stated above about counting objects, by now they will understand the relationship between objects, quantity and numbers.
  • Reciting numbers to 100 and completing missing number worksheets, alongside writing the numbers, will give your child a great foundation.

Good luck, just have fun counting.

1 Comment

  • Nikip Gomulka at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Blogging like that is just a great thing. Keep it up.

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