The
concept of one to one correspondence is introduced as a precursor to
counting with meaning. When children begin counting, they can often
sound off the numbers from memory without giving it much thought. This
is called "rote counting." Assigning meaning to the numbers, by helping
the child understand that the number 1 represents one object, number 2
represents 2 objects, etc. Before, counting with meaning can be taught,
children will need to understand how to match groups of equally numbered
items, or one to one correspondence.

## How do you know if you should teach One to One Correspondence?

If
a child counts objects skipping over ten of them as they count to 3,
you will know that they are having trouble assigning meaning to numbers
and need to understand one to one correspondence. If a child can already
count with meaning, they already have a good grasp of one to one
correspondence.

## Be Fair!

Have the child pass out something to everyone in the room, for example a
plate. Before you begin, tell them to, "be fair and make sure everyone
gets a plate." If the child can not do this, model it for him/her and
keep practicing until they can give one object to each person. Other
ideas for objects that can be passed out are: toys, cups, candy,
napkins, forks, pencils, pieces of cake, etc.

## Counting Groups of the Same Number

Materials: 6-10 household objects.

Count out a group of objects. They can be forks, spoons, counters,
quarters, pennies, or anything that you have around the house. Begin by
counting out a small group of 3 objects. Place them in front of the
child as you count. Now ask the child to repeat what you did. See if the
child can count on a second group of the same objects. If the child can
not do it, model the counting out of the second group, then start over
and ask the child to do it after being shown. In this activity the
groups of objects should be identical. For example, a group of 3 pennies
and a second group of 3 pennies. After the child is successful, move on
to larger groups of objects.

## Dice Drawing Game

Materials: Paper, pencils, small round objects

Draw
2 squares on a sheet of paper. Ask the child to place one counter on
each square. Counters are small round manipulatives used to teach math,
if you don't have counters you can use any small round objects that are
identical in shape or size, such as dimes or raisins. You can also draw
the circles onto the squares, but this may be more difficult for some
children. If the child cannot place a counter on each square, model the
activity and then ask the child to repeat it. Once the child has
mastered this activity, put more dots on the squares to make "dice." See
if they can place equal numbers of dots on each square die that's been
drawn.

## Matching Games to Teach One to One Correspondence

Materials: Reusable cans, yogurt containers, or plastic bottles with the top cut off, markers, construction paper, straws.

You
can recycle materials to make your own one to one correspondence games
at home. Use empty bottles, cans, or yogurt cups to make containers.
Cover them with construction paper. Place dots one through 5 on the
front of the containers. Have the child practice one to one
correspondence by putting the correct number of straws in each
container. For example, a container with 5 dots, should have 5 straws
placed in it. Other household items such as craft sticks, spoons, or
forks can be used in place of the straws. A similar game that can be
used to teach one to one correspondence with dots is the parking garage
game. Use old milk cartons to create "garages" as seen in the photo.
Place dots on the top of each garage and have the child drive the
correct number of cars into each garage.

Once
you have mastered teaching one to one correspondence with objects,
children will be ready to learn to count with meaning. This concept is
typically taught in kindergarten, but the bsic principles can be used
with any child.

Photo Credits: HS Schulte

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