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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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