One to One correspondence is an important beginning math skill for preschoolers. You may have noticed that children love to count. They count how many marshmallows are in their hot chocolate, how many people are in the room, how many crayons there are. They just love to count!
When listening to children count, you have probably noticed that they oftentimes skip numbers or they count too quickly. It can take some time to master one-to-one correspondence. It’s important that children are provided lots of fun activities and opportunities to build master this skill.
What is One-to-One correspondence?
One to one correspondence is the skill of counting each object in a set once, and only once. For example, a child who touches each block in a row and says the number out loud for each block touched, “one, two, three…” is showing the ability to count with one-to-one correspondence.
Why is One-to-One Correspondence Important?
It is the building block for almost all math concepts. Without mastering one-to-one correspondence, children will oftentimes struggle with basic math concepts.
Difference Between Rote Counting vs. One-to-One Correspondence
While they may seem similar, they’re different skills. Rote counting is reciting numbers in numerical order, “one, two, three…” Counting with one-to-one correspondence is touching each object as you say it’s number aloud. This is a more advanced skill, and takes more practice.
How to Teach One-to-One Correspondence
The objective of one-to-one is have children solve problems by counting the number of objects to 10 and beyond. They will learn to count sets of objects, and determine which set has more or less. This requires practice, practice, and more practice. It’s important to model for children counting objects. Have them count with you as you touch each object, and then have them count by themselves.
Children learn best through play and hands-on activities. Teaching one-to-one correspondence can be tons of fun!
One to One Correspondence Activities
Ten Frame Counting Mats
Ten frames are a great way to introduce early math skills. There are tons of ways to use them. You can roll play dough balls and have children put them in the ten frame to complete it. You can also use counters, mini erasers, pom poms….anything goes. Here are some Play Dough Number Mats that work on 1-to-1 correspondence.
Children absolutely love dinosaurs. Any activity that we do with dinosaurs is always a hit. For this one, we used dinosaur counters. We counted them on our own to see how many we could count to. These are the counters we used.
We like to start off the school year with an apple study. These mini apple counters are perfect to use for 1 to 1 correspondence and other activities. You’ll notice in this picture that the apples aren’t lined up perfectly with the number card. This student is still learning. It takes a lot of practice, but luckily we have super fun activities to help.
Counting Foam Shapes
I wrote numbers in the bottom of cupcake liners and put them on a tray. You could also put them in muffin tins for stability.
Counting with Objects
You can use all different types of objects when counting. I love to use counters that I got off of Amazon. Mini erasers are fun to use, pom poms, glass jewels, and even toys. If it’s an object that kids are interested in, they will want to count with it.
Counters We Use
Here is a list of the counters shown above, and others that we use. You can click on the link to see them in Amazon. You can also find fun things to use as counters at the dollar store, and Target dollar spot. Hit can be hit or miss though with those stores. I like that I can usually find exactly what I need on Amazon. It saves me so much time so I can focus more on teaching.
Please note these are affiliate links.
- Animal Counters
- Apple Counters
- Bear Counters
- Dinosaur Counters
- Farm Counters
- Foam Hearts
- Foam Shapes
- Fruit Counters
- Ocean Counters
- Pom Poms
- Pumpkin Counters
- Transportation Counters
- Unicorn Counters