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Why do we need counting?

It is only small numbers that can be “recognised” just by sight. What about larger quantities? Counting is a mechanism, which helps us to identify the size of large collections.

Suppose we have a collection of 3 dozen pencils.

We start reciting the number words in order ( One, Two, Three etc) and each time we say a word we point to a pencil in the collection.

We ensure that we say all the words in the correct sequence.

We also ensure that no pencil is pointed to more than once.

If we follow this procedure and If we are saying the word “Thirty Six” when pointing to the last pencil, then
We can say that there are thirty six pencils in the collection.

So counting is a method by which we can find the size of a countable collection.

From Sorting to Number Sense

In the pre-primary school, children are made to do a lot of sorting and classifying. We know that this activity helps children distinguish between different properties like colour, size, shape, texture, taste and smell.

Teachers often do not realise that this activity also develops Number Sense. This is the reason they are also called Pre-Number Activities.

Contributed by S Sundaram

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