Provide an egg carton or other container with compartments and see how the child distributes many items (such as small blocks) into the compartments (have enough to fill each compartment).
Set out the egg carton and items and observe. No elicitation is needed.
Filling things up is fun at this age, so putting something in each hole or compartment is interesting. This also demonstrates the child’s emerging interest in one-to-one correspondence.
Help parents understand that the first three aspects of understanding numbers are using one-to-one correspondence (or having only one number name for each item); invariant sequence (the items counted are always in the same sequence), and cardinality (the last number stated is the total amount). Parents can help children learn these foundations by helping the child point to each item as it is counted, by helping them learn the number sequence a little at a time (emphasize up to 3 items), and at the end of the count say the total amount (“One, two. You gave me two”).
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.