April 6, 2022 | Sossi Essajanian
“One, two, three, four, seven, eight, nine, eleven, sixteen…”
Children can often be heard reciting a sequence of numbers as they “count” objects. When we ask them, “So how many are there?” Instead of the total, we may be greeted by the repeating of the sequence “One, two, three, four, seven, eight…”
There are many numeracy concepts embedded in this process of counting and determining the total. However the understanding is in how each number “feels” or what it looks like; this is the foundation of later numeracy work, especially quantifying and calculating.
In this process there are many elements at work:
In preschool, some numeracy work is connecting a quantity to its numeral. Children see a number then state its name. The connection comes next: finding a corresponding set of objects. For example, seeing the numeral 4 and choosing the picture card with 4 animals on it. Usually this involves counting to check but usually children just “see” quantities 1-3 as a set so they just know it!
This is called subitizing.
Connecting numeral and quantity begins in preschool and develops through Kindergarten and in years to come.
So many authentic experiences support children’s work in connecting numeral and quantity. These include playing finger movement games, using numeral dice, finger counting, making your own number line, and number puzzles.