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One to One Correspondence

Have you ever heard your child's teacher mention 1:1 correspondence? This is a critical early math skill that is necessary for learning basically every other operation! In short, this is what most people know as counting. 1:1 correspondence is the skill of being able to match one number to one object or quantity. For example, if you put 5 animal crackers on the table, a child with an understanding of 1:1 would be able to point to the first cracker and say 1, then the next and say 2, etc. This skill is usually taught in the preschool years, and is often reviewed at the beginning of Kindergarten to gauge where students are at in their skill levels. Even adults use this skill in their every day lives without even knowing it!

So what are some ways you can build this skill at home? Maybe your child's teacher has mentioned that they are still growing in this skill. Maybe you're homeschooling or working with your toddler at home to develop skills before they even start school. Either way, you can easily work on these at home! Here are some ideas:

  • Count how many doors are in your house (or windows, light switches, pretty much anything!)

  • Practice with breakfast cereal and snacks when serving or eating them! Count how many cheerios they have, each cookie they munch, or find another creative way.

  • When out and about or waiting in line at the store, count anything you can find and model by pointing to each object as you do.

Most importantly, don't feel the need to drill these skills all day and night! If your child's enjoying it and responding well to counting together, that's great. Try to be mindful to keep it fun. This is one of the topics I've talked with parents about a lot. Many times, they said their child didn't want to ,was giving them a hard time about it, or that it was getting stressful to practice at home. Do what works for your child! They may not be ready for the skill yet, or maybe they need another way of practicing and that's okay too! Keep an eye on the printable and activities section for new games and fun activities each month.

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