May 12

Counting seems to be such an easy skill to teach as well as an easy skill to assess. As your child’s teacher, I am going to be thrilled if your child can count out loud to at least 20 when they start Kindergarten. My grandson learned to count by counting the steps up to my house and then back down again on his way out the door. But being able to count out loud does not always mean a child understands what that count or number means. So the second thing I look for is can your child count out objects accurately between 10 to 20 items. The third thing we are going to check for at the beginning of the year is, can your child tell me what number comes next from any given number under 10 without having to start at one (counting on). With these three goals in mind here are some ideas to help you practice counting with your child:

Counting to 20

  • This is just practice, practice, practice. Count everything you can think to count. My daughter even practiced counting out loud with my grandson while he was in his car seat and they were going to the store. Remember counting out loud is just a rote skill. You learn it though memorization.

Counting out objects

  • When I talk to parents about counting objects, I tell them to count out everything they can find in the house: pennies, beans, toy cars, Barbie’s, shoes, etc.. The most important thing to remember when counting out objects is to teach your child to pull the item they are counting away from the group as they count it. This will help them to keep track of what they have already counted. They can pull the items into another group, a line, a cup, or anyway they want as long as it is away from the group they still need to count.
  • After they have counted out an amount ask them again how many do you have? At first they may need to recount them to make sure,. But over time they will begin to understand that the number objects is the same whether they just state what they know, or if they recount the items again.

Counting on from any given number

  • This is a hard skill for some children. And until they really understand that a number is what it is whether you are counting beans, fingers or cars, they will struggle with this. What we like to see is a child beginning to count on without repeating the number you have given to them. Here’s an example: Teacher: “Can you count on from 5 for me?” Student “6, 7, 8”. We most often get the answer of “5, 6, 7, 8.” We really try to get them not to repeat the number we want them to start from.

Enjoy counting everything you can find!!! I know your kids will love the time spent with you working on their numbers!


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