## 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.

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Saying numbers and knowing what numbers mean are two different and distinct mathematical skills.

Your child might be a champion counter, yet not be able to identify the number “8″ out of numerical sequence. He or she might be able to recognize the numeral “12,” but be unable to count out 12 objects. Knowing how to match numbers to objects is basic, mathematical one-to-one correspondence.

Practicing one-to-one correspondence helps your child make the connection between seeing, saying, and knowing.

Here are three easy activities to help your child practice one-to-one correspondence in math.

• Put a small pile of pennies on a table. Say, or show a number between one and twenty. See if your child can count out the number of pennies that you named. If he can’t do it by himself help him count out the correct amount.Have him put the pennies in a straight line, pointing to each penny, as he counts in sequence.
• Take the Ace (to represent one) through 10, of one suit, from a deck of playing cards.Line the cards, left to right, from the Ace to the ten.Below the card have your child place the appropriate number of pennies.Once your child can easily do this from one to ten, mix up the cards and place them out of sequence.  Practice until your child can match the pennies to the numbers shown on the cards.
• Play “Roll for a Snack.” Use a small snack cup or plate. Take one die, from a pair of dice, and have your child roll it. Count out a goldfish cracker, raisin, Cheerio, or favorite small snack for each dot on the die.Continue rolling and counting until the cup or plate is full.Who knew that counting could be so delicious?

(To increase difficulty use two dice and add the dots.)

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#2 susan bielan 2009-10-24 00:31
i liked this, it made numbers more fun to learn
#1 Leah Griffen 2009-10-06 16:11
This was great information. My five year old has been having a hard time with numbers in an Ordinal manner. Thanks for the tips