What is one to one correspondence? Of course, you know how to do it, you have been using one to one correspondence for years, but how did you learn it? And more importantly, how do you go about teaching one to one correspondence? When children first come to school, they are eager to learn and are desperate to show their teacher how far they can count (and how fast they can count of course!). My little learner at home has perfected rote counting – 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 10 he says over and over again, but doesn’t really know what it means! Before anything else, our little mathematicians need to develop their number sense and this starts with one to one correspondence also know as cardinality.
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What is One to One Correspondence?
“How do you actually teach kids to count to 10?” – this was a question one of my cousins asked me once. Like most who are not in the teaching profession, he figured teaching prep (kindergarten) children was pretty easy, but then stood back and really thought about it. As adults, we do all these things naturally, without thinking and it is only when we have to teach someone else that we actually step back and think about it.
I was first exposed to the concept of One to One Correspondence as a teacher – of course I knew what it was, I had been doing it since I started school, I just never thought of it as a concept. Put simply, a child has 6 cups and are instructed to put one straw in each cup from a collection of straws. If they can follow this instruction, then they have one to one correspondence. If the child put all straws in one cup or shared all straws out between the cups or was confused, they don’t understand one to one correspondence. It is simply connecting one object to one object. One to One Correspondence is also called Cardinality.
My little learner can count and can identify 2 objects, however, doesn’t understand “this is a collection of 4 objects” even though he can count to 4. Therefore he doesn’t understand one to one correspondence but that’s ok – he is only a beginning counter who is still developing his number sense.
Why teach One to One Correspondence?
One to One Correspondence can’t be something that we expect the students to just figure out as we go and hope they get it. As a result, it needs to be specifically taught. I, personally, have never had a problem with children using their fingers to count, or any other manipulative for that matter. Counting with manipulatives is One to One Correspondence. Children need to grasp the concept early to help them with their maths throughout the first year of schooling. Therefore the more they are exposed to One to One Correspondence activities at the beginning of the year, the better they will understand the next step.
When do you teach One to One Correspondence?
As a Foundation (Kindergarten/Prep) Teachers, One to One Correspondence, Shape and Patterns are the first concepts I teach. One to One Correspondence is revisited as regularly as required during the first term. Many children will practice One to One Correspondence at Pre-School.
21 Easy Ideas for Teaching One to One Correspondence.
The best way to teach One to One Correspondence is to expose your students to it regularly, repeated practise and a variety of activities, all concentrating on the same still. Quick warm ups are easy, center activities are fabulous and worksheet activities have a place, with learning being hands on. Here are some one to one correspondence activities and examples that I use in my classroom.
Warm Up Activities
STEP IT OUT! Have the children up and moving around. Children find somewhere in the room to stand. Roll a large dice. Children walk the number of steps shown on the dice.
TENS FRAMES! Sit the children in a circle and give children a piece of paper or tens frame. Roll a dice, children collect that number of counters. Clear the board with each roll as you are not working on addition quite yet.
Whole Class Activities for teaching One to One Correspondence
Centre Activities for Teaching One to One Correspondence
Use number posters or cards to draw the number of dots shown on the card. Or use any resources in the classroom to show that number.
I hope these 20+ ideas for teaching one to one correspondence have helped with your teaching of little learners. Do you have any other fun activities to do with your children to help them learn one to one correspondence? Comment below!
Have fun, enjoy and until next time, happy teaching!