Early Counting

Greetings Everyone!  Here is the Math Vitamin for the Week.

Building Blocks, Week 3: Counting verbally and with objects, “Count and Move”

During these first few days and weeks of school we are always counting – heads, lunch tickets, labels, and folders.  We model counting and invite the children to count – during calendar, as they build, and as they line up.  What more can we do to support early counting and subitization?

One favorite tool is dice!  Dice provide practice in seeing number sets and counting from 1 to 6.  Even if children do not yet recognize the numerals 1-6, they can work on activities or play games with dot dice.  With preschoolers, larger dice are best, as they allow space for pointing to each dot as they count.  We have some larger dice in our office, if you need them.

Dice work can range from simple tray work in which children roll a die and create a set of that number, to more complex group games.  To create tray work teachers can use small animals, gems, cubes, and more – any materials that captures the imagination of your children.  If you already have Transfer Trays, you can add a counting component to this task.

two baskets and one dice
three bowls with toy dinosaurs and one dice

With your more advanced counters, children who already demonstrate 1-1 correspondence and competence with counting, you can play group games, such as “Race to 10.”  In this video from the Erikson Institute the teacher invites children to roll, count and save collections while trying to get to 10.

Remember, it is early in the year and it is a process to teach this skill.  No matter what you decide to use as counting work, be sure to work slowly with the children, encouraging them to use strategies (such as sliding counters, or moving counters) in order to count in an organized way with 1-1 correspondence.  If you discover that some children need more structure and practice, providing egg cartons or counting frames is also a great scaffold.

Enjoy your counting!

Year-Long Trajectory

The Year-Long Trajectory is your scope and sequence for learning experiences across the year.