# Counting

Counting is the basis of all of arithmetic. You cannot
solve word problems with understanding if you don’t know how to model
those problems and solve them by counting.

The first step is “rote counting.” That is the ability to say the
number names in order – “one, two, three, . . .” and so on,
indefinitely. This is a relatively easy task. At least for small
numbers it is like learning the alphabet. There is nothing to
understand. You just have to learn to say the words in order. Click here to see Trixie count
(rotely) to 28.

But it is “rational counting” that is used to solve word problems. You
need to be able to do more than say the number names in order. You need
to be able to coordinate as you simultaneously say the number names and
point to the objects being counted. Click here to see Trixie count
rationally.

In these next two examples Trixie gets help with her rational counting.
Here, she counts while I
point. Here, she points
while her grandma (Nana) counts.