Handbook of Language and Literacy Development - a Roadmap from 0 to 60 Months

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glossary

Numeracy Development (0-60 Months)click to print Print

Written by: Helena P. Osana and Diana A. Royea, Concordia University

arbitrary units – a non-standard unit to which the attribute of an object is compared (e.g., a paper clip as the unit in measuring the length of a pencil; a penny as the unit in measuring the weight of a book)

cardinal-count principle – the knowledge that a number (e.g., 5) indicates the cardinal value of a set (e.g., the set has 5 items) and at the same time a count number (e.g., the last number stated when counting the set was “5”)

cardinal principle – when enumerating a set of objects, the knowledge that the last number word stated indicates the total number of items in the collection

cardinal value – the number of objects in a set

continuous quantities – collections involving nondiscrete quantities; such quantities can involve parts of a unit such as time

conventional units – a standard unit to which the attribute of an object is compared (e.g., a centimeter as the unit in measuring the length of a pencil; a gram as the unit in measuring the weight of a book)

counting-on strategy – when solving simple addition problems, a strategy whereby the count begins with the cardinal value of either the first or larger number in the problem and the count continues by the amount indicated by the second number in the problem (for example, “Ok, 5…6, 7, 8. There were 8 candies in the box.”)

counting sequence – a sequence of number words usually used when counting objects in a set. The correct counting sequence is “one, two, three, …”

decade terms – the number words that begin each new counting series (for example, “twenty,” is the decade term that begins the series of numbers 21, 22, 23,…;  “thirty” is the decade term that begins the series of numbers 31, 32, 33, …)

digits – the ten symbols used to represent number in the Hindu-Arabic numeration system (that is, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

discrete quantities – collections consisting of distinct items such as crayons in a box, people in a room, candies in a bag

doubles facts – number facts that result from doubling a number, multiplying it by two, or adding it to itself (for example,  2 + 2 = 4; 5 + 5 = 10)

enumeration – the process of counting objects to determine how many there are in the set

equal sharing – a process used to split up a collection of items into equal groups

finger patterns – the display of fingers (on either one or both hands) that corresponds to the cardinal value of a number between 1 and 10

manipulatives – physical objects (such as blocks, beans, and popsicle sticks) that can be manipulated to understand a number concept or solve a problem

modelling – acting out, often with manipulatives or drawings, the actions or relationships in mathematical problems

number sense – an intuitive feel for numbers and how they work

numeral – a written representation of a number (for example, 2)

numerosity – a property of a set of objects that indicates quantity, for example, the numerosity of a set of 5 candies is five

ordinal numbers – numbers that are used to indicate the relative position or order of items such as first, second, third

partitioning strategy –a strategy used to achieve equal sharing, such as distributing items one by one (for example, dealing cards by giving each person in a game one card at a time)

place value – the notion that the position of a digit in a numeral determines its value

retrieved number facts – facts about numbers that can be retrieved from memory (for example, that 2 + 3 = 5; that 4 x 7 = 28; that 9 – 5 = 4)

skip counting – counting forward or backward by quantities other than one (for example by twos 2, 4, 6, …; or by fives 5, 10, 15, …)

subitize – to recognize how many items are in a set without actually counting them

tagging – when enumerating (counting), applying the counting-sequence words (1, 2, 3, … ;) to the items in a set