When playing, I'll say hand me the third block from your left or ask what is the color of the second block.
For younger learners, I still try to maintain left-right convention if the child is still working that concept. For older children, we will expand and show that ordinal count can go either way, or up and down, depending on which side is considered the starting point.
For the little ones, I will line up three items and sing, while helping/having them touch each item when appropriate [working left/right convention, so if you are sitting across from them, go your right/left with their hand(s)]:
First, second, third,I also line up the little ones in a line and sing it while touching each of them as I sing, replacing their actual names within the song:
First, second, third,
They are in a line
They go first, second, third.
[Miss L], [Miss H], [Miss N]Here, I am saying FIRST, SECOND, THIRD and they are giving me five as I go through the line, then we will change positions and do the same thing.
[Miss L], [Miss H], [Miss N]
Are all in a line,
They are first, second, third.
For the preschoolers, for the activity today, we lined up 10 food items from the dramatic play area onto our chalkboard table. I asked them to ordinal count the items. I was thinking and not being present yet in the lesson. So of course, they start rote counting. I shake my head and before I can get out an explanation, they started rote counting in Spanish. I started laughing. "Noooo, ORDINAL COUNT is when we do FIRST, SECOND, THIRD."
I could see their confusion clear and they methodically went down the line with no problem.
Then we played, mixing it up. They were allowed to touch, pick up, and move around the objects as we proceeded. We did about 6-8 questions per round.
1st round: Questions such as:
"[Miss A], can you tell me what item is third?"
2nd round: Questions such as:
"[Miss H], can you pick an item and tell me what is it's ordinal place?"
3rd round: Questions such as:
"[Mr. G], can you tell me if the fifth item is a fruit, vegetable, protein or grain?"
Then I added the chalk labels and we did a rapid fire tell me an item and its ordinal position. They all talked over one another, which is always fun, and LOUD.
4th round: Questions such as:
"[Miss A], which item is to the LEFT of the 7th one?...So what ordinal position is [item]?"
"[Mr. G], which item is second after the banana?...Which ordinal position is it in the WHOLE ROW?"
Tags: math, mathematics, early, ordinal, count, counting, preschool, pre-k, homeschool, toddler, child, care, daycare, teaching, kindergarten