SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Understanding One-to-One Correspondence

One-to-one correspondence is a fundamental skill in both math and reading.

Adults use this concept every day. We automatically count out appropriate dollar bills and coins to pay for items. We set the table for the right amount of people. We read in a left-to-right progression, scanning each word as we read it.

But, one-to-one correspondence is often difficult for young children to comprehend. In Math recognizing the number "ten," and being able to count out "ten" items are two separate skills. Linking objects with numbers enables a child to count with understanding.

Mastering one-to-one correspondence is essential for organized, meaningful counting. This leads to an eventual ability to perform higher-level calculations.

Mastering one-to-one correspondence is important for your child's reading success as well. It reinforces the print-to-voice connection. This means that your child "says" what he or she "sees."
The best way to subtly practice this concept is to sweep your index finger under each word, in a left-to-right progression, as you read to your child. Your child will start to model this reading behavior, and begin to make that "see and say" connection.

Using their own index finger under words they are reading is an excellent way for children to visually track what is being read.
This simple technique will enable your child to become a more fluent reader!
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