Introducing the pre-number concepts with a proper use of language and manipulative experiences with the objects can lead to acquisition of the number sense which is an abstract idea.
Wadhawa has advised in his write up a four-step use of language for introducing the number sense, but a fifth step has been added by me based on my experience as a teacher. For example, while showing a pencil, the teacher must proceed as follows: This is one pencil…One pencil…This pencil is one…This is one…How many is this? One.
Similarly, while showing two pencils, the teacher must proceed as follows: These are two pencils…Two pencils…These pencils are two…These are two…How many are these? Two. And, so on.
This can be done with three or four different objects like chalk sticks, erasers, leaves, books etc. This kind of language along with objects can lead to acquisition of number sense followed by their symbolic representation.
I too feel that for constructing number sense, exploring relationships is a natural occurrence among elementary school students and such experiences should be deliberately planned in early grades as situated conceptual concrete experiences to develop a number sense prior to introducing the concepts of counting and numeric symbols.
If this is not happening in a good majority of schools, it reflects poorly on the teacher preparation and training institutes of the country.
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