In the preschool classroom, being able to count includes both procedural skills and conceptual understandings. For the young child, this includes a few key components. First of all, is the ability for them to be able to follow the procedure of saying the number words in the correct order; to demonstrate one-to-one correspondence by saying only one of these counting words as they point to each item.
Secondly, is the capacity for students to understand conceptually that when counting is executed correctly, the final number is the answer to how many and thus represents the manyness or quantity of the set. This is called understanding cardinality.
In our classroom, we integrate counting into all of our activities.We not only have a number of the week, but a daily activity that reinforces the number. During the week of the hippopotamus, we talked about the number 10. For a circle time activity, students were each given a hippo made out of felt. One by one, they brought their hippos to a giant felt board as they counted from 1 to 10. Following this, we sang a silly song called Ten Little Hippos. Lastly, we practiced adding and subtracting hippos, to see how this changed the quantity.