A group of teachers is working in Albuquerque to develop appropriate benchmarks for assessing children's mathematical understandings. We are looking specifically at grade 2. In writing a developmental continuum we have reached a small but significant disagreement. One of our colleagues feels uncomformtable with the inclusion of benchmarks on oral counting under numbers and numeration. (Specifically: in the "developing" category counts orally to 100 by ones and tens, to 50 by fives, to twenty by 2s. In the "independent" category : counts to 100 by 2s, 5s, and 10s.) Our collegue feels oral counting is too rote.
and therefore shouldn't be included as a benchmark.
The Standards say: "Counting skills, which are essential for ordering and com paring numbers, are an important component of the development of number ideas. Counting on, counting back, and skip counting mark advances in children's development of number ideas. However, counting is only one indicator of children's understanding of numbers"
The developmental continuum being written contains many, many more indicators of understanding of numbers.
I have also seen research findings that show that children build their number sense from counting. Frankly, I can't think of any other way to learn to count than by rote and there are clear developmental aspects to how children learn to count.
What do you think? Do the Standards say that anything that must be done by rote should not be considered a benchmark? (Remember, as I said, these rote counting benchmarks are only a small part of the benchmarks being written, but some of our colleagues consider them very important.) Clearly, oral counting is part of the "decreased attention" category-- as that pretty much WAS the curriculum for primary children if you added writing numerals--but is oral counting passe????
If this seems too dull for the list, please respond to me personally at Chapman@apsicc.aps.edu THANKS! Cindy