EVERY time children count forwards, they should immediately count backwards to ensure they have equal competence and fluency in both the forward and backward number sequence. Ask children if they think they said the same numbers – some don’t think so!

Children need to be very fluent in the forward and backward count, otherwise the cognitive load when counting and recording items will be too high for learning and retention. Having children count forwards and backwards daily to a friend, allows the teacher to observe, continually extending each child’s range by 1 number when they are ready.

As children begin to develop their capacity to count, read and write some numerals, they begin to investigate counting items. They then continue to extend their counting, writing and reading range, as they continue to investigate counting items.

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