As a toddler I was taught to count by ones or as many math teachers know them as
natural or counting numbers. Counting numbers are the set of numbers we use to learn to count
1, 2, 3, and so on. These numbers are also called natural numbers because these numbers feel
natural to us because they are naturally the first numbers we learn (Crenshaw, n.d.). My mother
taught me how to count, she loves to tell this story to my friends and she always jokingly says
she can’t wait to tell it on my wedding day because she taught me how to count with cheerios
since I loved to eat and one of the requirements of attending the preschool that she wanted me to
attend was that I had to know how to count to at least 10 before starting but because she used
food, according to my mom, I learned how to count beyond 10. To this day she feels that’s why I
have a love for numbers because she taught me with food.
I remember using my fingers to count until first grade, after first grade I stopped using
my fingers. I have an older cousin who was staffed as gifted and an aunt who is only 9 years
older than me and I watched them count and with no fingers and I wanted to be just like them so
I asked them to teach me how to count with no fingers, of course being the “baby” at the time I
was aggravating and nobody wanted to teach me so I watched them and taught myself by
learning patterns. For example, I made the connection at an early age that if 10+2=12 then