This is the fifth blog post in a series about Counting Principles. These principles are helpful when developing children’s number sense. It’s not enough for them to learn to count by rote, they have to develop a strong foundation of numbers and counting.
Conservation is the fifth principle that I am taking a deep dive into.
You can see the other Counting Principle blog posts here.
What is Conservation?
The count of a set stays the same whether the objects are close together or spread apart.
Why is Conservation important?
Developing this skill is important because it is part of the foundation of students’ number sense skills.
Activities to Work on Cardinality Skills
This is a simple skill to work on- when students are counting concrete materials, have them count them when they are close together, then spread them out and ask them how many there are now. You can do this during lunch or snack with food, with cars when they are playing, outside with rocks, where ever there are groups of objects! Using concrete materials will help solidify this skill.
Conservation Matching Cards
Cut out the cards and have students match the cards that have the same number of dots. You can ask prompting questions as they match to better understand their thinking (How do you know? What strategy did you use? Why did you match those cards?)
If you would like to use these cards, they are a free download in my Resource Library (if you do not have he password, sign up for my newsletter and it will be sent to you):
If you are looking to work on number sense skill foundations with your students, you can find lots of great activities and centers in this Easy Print and Prep pack: