Number & Counting

Developing number sense (an understanding of number and the ability to count accurately) is essential for developing further skills in mathematics. On this page you will find information about the key skills required for counting, and some ideas about how to help your child develop or improve them. 

Stable Order Principle

Understanding that the counting sequence is consistent. It is always 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 etc. not 1,2,4,5,8

Abstraction Principle

Understanding that the quantity of five large things is the same as the quantity of five small things, and the quantity of five mixed up things.

Movement is Magnitude Principle

Understanding that as you move through the counting sequence, the quantity increases by one and as you move down the sequence, it decreases by one (or by whatever number you are counting in). 
Order Irrelevance Principle

Understanding that the counting of objects can begin with any object in a set and the total will stay the same. 

One-to-One Correspondence Principle

Understanding that each object being counted must be given one, and only one, count. It is useful in the early stages for children to actually tag each item being counted or to move it out of the way. 

For one document with all of these principles,
Conservation Principle

Understanding that he count for a set of objects stays in same no matter whether the objects are spread out or close together.

Cardinality Principle

Understanding that the last count of a group of objects represents how many there are. 

Unitizing Principle

Understanding that in our base 10 system (see below)
objects are grouped into tens when the count exceeds 9, and that this is indicated by a '1' in the tens column.