One of the skills we play with in Pre-K is making sets. Our goal is to count a finite number of manipulatives and then create a new set with the same number of objects. The children receive a cup containing a number of items, between 1 and 20 at this time of the year. We discuss using reliable counting strategies to find the total number of items.
In this picture, the student has eight glass rocks. Next, she chooses a different manipulative to match the set. She has chosen buttons. She carefully aligns one button beside each rock. This supports one-to-one correspondence as well as giving her feedback as to the reliability of her original counting strategy. (Imagine the student had counted the rocks as they lay in a jumble. Would it be very easy to keep track of each piece as she tried to match them with a button?) Finally, she records her findings on a sticky note and places her new set with the note in a cup labeled with her name. After guided practice with this activity, the children can complete this task on their own. The cups can then be checked later by the teacher so that we can identify misconceptions or confusion and provide more support.