Cloonloo National School
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Numeracy Tips

Tips for Junior Infants



Be aware of opportunities to observe similarities and differences between objects.  At home, ask the child to point out familiar objects that are the same e.g. socks, spoons, gloves.  If objects are somewhat similar e.g. 2 cats, ask them what the difference between them is.



When the child can identify objects that are the same then they can group or “sort” these objects.  Put all the socks together, all the books, all the toys etc.


One-to-one correspondence:

Let the child match objects together, e.g. pairs of socks, pairs of shoes.  When setting the table let them see how each knife has a fork, each cup has a saucer, each bowl has a spoon.



Read the story of “Goldilocks” and draw your child’s attention to the fact that there were 3 objects of varying sizes e.g. the 3 bowls, chairs and beds.  Ask your child to watch out for examples of this around them e.g. objects in varying sizes (big tree, bigger tree, biggest tree)


Length and Height:

Ask the children to bring in “long” objects e.g. Daddy’s old ties, string etc.  Examine these and see which ones are longer, shorter, wider.  Ask them to tell you things they found at home that were long e.g. the garden, the path, the bath.  Who is taller, Mum or Dad?  Do the children have brothers/sisters who are taller than they are?  Use the language of length and height e.g. long, longer, longest, tall, taller, tallest.


Shape and space:

Use the language of “space” e.g. beside you, behind you, in front of you, under you, above you, on top of you.  Look at things that “stack” e.g. boxes and books and things that “roll” e.g. oranges and apples.  Look out for rectangles, circles, squares and triangles.  They might be in a pattern or design.



Use the language of “width” e.g. will the car fit in the space? Is the car too wide?


Equivalent and non-equivalent sets:

Use opportunities to point out “more” and “less”.  Are there more apples than bananas in the bowl?  Are there more girls than boys in the pool?  There’s no need to mention amounts or numbers just ask the child to judge by eye.



Watch out for patterns and identifying the pattern.  What comes next in the pattern?


Numbers 1-5:

Watch out for these numbers at home and outside.  Point them out on signs, shop windows, books etc.  Use any opportunity to let your child count out items e.g. apples.



Use the language of time e.g. We’ll have dessert after tea/dinner, wash your teeth and then I’ll read you a story.  Time at this point is all about sequencing e.g. lunch comes after breakfast. There’s no need to mention actual times e.g. two o’clock.



Let your child know the difference between “empty” and “full”. Emphasise that “full” means “up to the top”.  Let them experiment at the sink with various different size containers.  How many little bottles will it take to fill this big bottle?


Ordinal Numbers:

Use the words “first” and “last” with your child.  Who will be home first?   Which person is first in the queue?  Who is last?  Line up all your toys.  Which one is first? Which one is last?



Use opportunities to “count” in sequence with your child e.g. walking up the stairs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc



Compare objects e.g. this paper is light, this stone is heavy.


Partitioning (1 to 5):

If you get opportunities show how numbers of objects (1 to 5 items) can be “broken up” e.g. How many grapes are there? (5)  I can break them up in lots of ways e.g. 2 grapes and 3 grapes, 1 grape and 4 grapes, 3 grapes and 2 grapes.  I put them back together and have 5 again.


Combining/Addition (1 to 5):

Use opportunities to ask your child to “add” e.g. in the supermarket, “I have 3 bananas, if you get me another 1, how many will I have?  At home, “I have cut two slices of bread, if I cut 2 more, how many will I have? “



Help your child to recognise the coins: 1c, 2c and 5c.  Use opportunities to do simple tasks with 1c coins e.g. 1c and 1c, give me five 1c coins.  Some children have difficulty realising that there is 2 cent in a 2 cent coin (as it’s only 1 coin) so stick to adding 1 cent coins.







Why choose Cloonloo National School?

  • Low pupil-teacher ratio – 1:1 teaching
  • DEIS School – This means extra grant to the school to subsidise school activities, outing and cost of books etc
  • Heavily subsidised books – total book cost is €25 which includes all books, copies, pencils, colours etc
  • Heavily subsidised school outings, tours
  • Free packed school lunches
  • Heavily subsidised swimming classes for all children
  • Teachers very accessible and available to talk to
  • Uniform – Very practical. White or blue t-shirt, navy or black trousers/tracksuit bottoms