one to one correspondence counting 2


One to one correspondence is the foundation of early learning in children. This is a crucial approach with which all other skills they learn come after. Whether it is adding, subtracting, or identifying objects, they start with this crucial method of teaching. This approach to teaching is also recommended for children below the age of10. The term can be quite intimidating for parents and teachers alike; however, understanding more about how it works and what it entails will widen your horizon about its benefits.

Creative Ways to Teach One to One Correspondence

One to one correspondence should be made more fun in order for learning to become effective. Thankfully, there are plenty of ideas to try to implement this teaching approach so kids can learn and have fun at the same time.

  • Counting Stairs – This is a classic approach used in one to one correspondence. And it’s fun for kids! You can start them young such that you can count the stairs as you carry them up through each step. They will soon develop the skills to do their own counting when they are old enough to climb up the stairs on their own.
  • Counting Food – Make feeding time more fun for kids by asking them to count the food on their plate. This method is known as rote counting and it is not only applicable to food.
  • Counting in Books – Children love to read books so take advantage of this opportunity to incorporate one on one correspondence to this activity. If they browse the pages of a book, ask them to count the characters on the page or count along as you flip through the pages. You can even get a counting book specifically for this practice.
  • Counting Actions – During play, you can incorporate one to one correspondence by asking a child to count along. For example, they are playing with a musical instrument. Ask them to count along as they hit the tambourine or drum set. Or even as simple as jumping –you can ask them to count as they jump!
  • Counting objects around them – You can go outside and ask kids to count any specific object they see. For example, ask them to count the trees when you are in a park. You can also ask them to count the cars as they pass by or the birds that circle around the sky.
  • Counting without any reason! – You can incorporate counting in children in every activity or opportunity that is available. For example, you can ask them to count while you are dressing them up or having breakfast. If you see a group of objects, ask them to count those objects. That is the beauty of this method of learning because they can learn from the environment and what’s around them.

There are plenty of things and activities that are available for a child to explore. Make the most of them to incorporate learning.

Other Effective Strategies for One to One Correspondence

In order for the one to one correspondence to work, it is important to implement the right strategy. You cannot expect a child to adopt this skill right away. It should follow a methodical approach that looks like this:

  • It starts with an adult demonstrating to them how counting works.
  • Then, the child joins the adult in counting.
  • The child is asked to count objects. The adult may or may not help in this stage (make sure to take cues from the child).
  • The child can perform counting independently.

The movement from step one to the last step (where a child can count on their own) will differ from one child to another. For some kids, it can take a few months but for others it can take years. However, these are the steps that must be followed.

You can also use other strategies to make learning effective. One such strategy is pointing. This is a crucial strategy that aids in accurate counting. The act of pointing gives a child a visual structure with which to build a counting pattern on. It also makes counting a multi-sensory experience so it requires their full attention.

When a child is still learning how to count, do it slowly. This is important so you can teach a child to learn effectively, not with speed. You need to model a slow and steady approach.

The final strategy is to move objects in a line. This approach is recommended when a child is just starting out with counting. This makes objects organized and facilitates easier counting. Once your child has developed this skill, you can arrange objects in random assortments or in a circle.

This method of learning is a long process! It takes a lot of patience and practice to perfect.

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