This is the second 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.
Stable Order is the second principle that I am taking a deep dive into.
You can see the other Counting Principle blog posts here.
What is Stable Order?
It is the understanding of the verbal sequence of counting, of saying the number names in sequential order (1,2,3,4,5 not 1,2,3,6,5,4,8).
Why is Stable Order important?
Having your students develop the ability to count backwards, or count on is an important step in developing a deep understanding of counting and quantity.
Activities to Work on Stable Order Skills
Number Lines are a favourite way of mine to develop stable order. We always have to put the numbers in the same way to build our number line (This blog post has more number line ideas).
Counting out lout every chance you get is another great way to internalize stable order for your students. If they hear you counting at various times for a variety of reasons, they begin to see the patterns that emerge when we count.
Stable Order Activities
Use the numbers cards to have students build their own number lines, or hole punch on both sides of the cards and have students link them together in the correct order.
In the past, I’ve hung up a string and had students use clothespins to build a number line. We did this as a whole group number talk, and had a great discussion about where each number goes and why.
The missing number strips are great laminated, and students can use a whiteboard marker to write the missing number on the lines.
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 stable order skills, these Missing Number Task Cards are great: