Counting is the origin of numbers. We humans only invented numbers because we wanted to count things.
Interestingly, when children first learn to count, they often learn to count without objects, so the first part of this section focuses on this skill. Next we look at repeating and counting sounds, such as claps. Finally we move on to counting objects, which requires not only the skill of being able to speak the numbers in the correct order, but also the ability to match each number that is spoken to one particular object (one-to-one correspondence).
In the pages that follow, learning intentions are indicated either as Skills or as Understanding.
Maths is a language, and it is as important to learn how to speak it as it is to listen to and understand it. Questions are given to stimulate thinking and may be asked either by adult or child. Key words and phrases are highlighted in bold.
Minimal equipment is needed for these activities and there are no worksheets. No writing is expected. They can be practised at home with a parent, or in school, with a teacher or other adult, and with either the whole class or with a group. The emphasis is on engaging verbal and practical activities using the familiar environment.
Although these skills are grouped here in one section, they are so fundamental to young children’s mathematical capabilities that they should be practised daily over an extended period of time to ensure complete fluency.