A recent study from the University of Missouri shows that little Johnny needs more practice than just reciting the days of the week, the alphabet and numbers if he is to be successful in elementary school.
The report says that counting, which requires assigning numerical values to objects in chronological order, is more important for helping preschoolers acquire math skills.
“Reciting means saying the numbers from memory in chronological order, whereas counting involves understanding that each item in the set is counted once and that the last number stated is the amount for the entire set,” said Louis Manfra, an associate professor in the school’s department of human development and family studies.
“When children are just reciting, they’re basically repeating what seems like a memorized sentence. When they’re counting, they’re performing a more cognitive activity in which they’re associating a one-to-one correspondence with the object and the number to represent a quantity.”