Counting by Points on Digits (how to count for kids)

counting digits (jpg) In kindergarten I learned how to count. I actually learned in an interesting way it seems, and apparently not everyone was blessed like I was with a counting education from Mrs. Elworth! I was taught that there are these “points” or “dots” along the digits that one uses to count the digit! See the example at the left or in (pdf).

This is SO rudimentary of course, but I’ve just learned that some children have great difficulty with counting (e.g. counting on their fingers in middle school!) and I think it’s probably because they never learned this trick! Here’s how it works:

  1. Write down the digits 1-9 and notice the placement of the dots on each digit
  2. As you count up to the value of the digit, point your pen or pencil on each dot as you count in order to keep track.

So next time, instead of counting on your fingers, you can use the dots on the digits! This should be helpful for the very ‘tactile’ learners. Hopefully some math teachers can use this trick to teach their wee little ones how to count. =) This is such a great trick, that I sometimes find that I still use it today!

Update 2008.11.10: I’ve found that another name for this is “Touch Point Math“, see here or here. I knew this must be taught elsewhere, I just couldn’t find any place online earlier!

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