This is the sixth 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.
Order Irrelevance is the sixth principle that I am taking a deep dive into.
You can see the other Counting Principle blog posts here.
What is Order Irrelevance?
It is the understanding that the order you count objects in is not important, what matters is that the objects in a set are counted once and only once. The set can be counted from left to right, right to left or from any other point.
Why is Order Irrelenvance important?
Children need to know that the number is not attached to a particular object in the set, it is just a temporary tag that we give it when counting.
Activities to Work on Order Irrelevance
Use concrete objects to count, then ask the student to start counting from a different object to see if the count stays the same.
Order Irrelevance Matching Cards
Students start counting on the green dot, they match the cards with the same number of dots. They have to start counting at a different object on each card.
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 your students need more practice with their counting skills, this pack has a great variety of activities: