The "What" of Counting
Counting Principles continued
We previously discussed how counting real objects give meaning to numbers for your keiki. For young keiki, counting sets of the same object puts the focus on the numbers. But with time and practice, your keiki’s counting skills will become more complex...leading to the “what to’s” of counting, which include:
𝙰𝚋𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗: no matter what your keiki is counting, how they count (the number sequence) remains the same. This includes sets of objects that differ in size, shape, color...or even completely different objects! Abstraction also includes counting things that they cannot see or touch but instead what they can hear, visualize or imagine. This includes words, sounds, imaginary objects, ideas, etc.
𝙾𝚛𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝙸𝚛𝚛𝚎𝚕𝚎𝚟𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎: the order that your keiki counts objects is irrelevant if they can count each object once and only once. So whether they count a set from left to right, right to left, top to bottom or bottom to top, they should always get the same total amount.
These two principles are dependent on your keiki’s understanding of the previous three principles of counting we shared:
Stable order is needed to count in sequence.
One to one correspondence allows them to count one object, concrete or abstract, in whatever order reliably.
Cardinality helps them more deeply understand that no matter what they count in what order, they should always get the same final number.