- A child counts a scattered group of 19 chips, keeping track by moving each one as the next is counted.
Help your student become a(n) Counter and Producer (10+)
These activities not only ask children to count sets and produce sets of larger numbers, they also teach strategies for keeping track of which items have been counted (i.e., keep 1-to-1 correspondence) in unorganized collections. Children learn to move the objects (if possible) or use spatial skills and planning (e.g., I'll move from the top to the bottom and left to right).
Practice-based Research: Producing a set number of items is typically more difficult than counting a collection of items. Children have to keep the target number in mind at all times and stop themselves when they reach it and with larger numbers, there are more demands on their working memories.
The counting skill of keeping track of unordered items is a special type of one-to-one correspondence task. For children who are unable to keep track, first suggest they count slowly and carefully; ask them to count each item exactly once, touching items as they count. Next, model strategies and/or help children invent strategies that work for them, such as moving items to a new location as they are counted; counting top to bottom or left to right (“reading order”); or, for circular arrangements, counting at a set place by starting with a certain color, shape, or other criterion.