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Counting Fish

In November, Gordy couldn’t tell his numbers from his colors.  In January, Gordy discovered the power of three and he has remained stuck there for quite some time.  Just last week — the last time I worked with Gordy — his parting request was for three gummy snacks.

Today he arrived at the one-on-one table and sat down.  I had three Pepperidge Farms Fish beside some alphabet cards.  Gordy immediately counted the fish.  “Three,” he said.  I agreed, then handed him a fourth fish as a reward for his accomplishment.  We then went on to work with the alphabet.  We identified the letters in Gordy’s name.  We figured out their sounds, and we worked on remembering the “names” of the letters.  Gordy practiced writing his name.  He worked hard for about 10 minutes, then I told him he could go.

We have worked together long enough that Gordy knows no matter how many treats he has already eaten, he never leaves the table empty handed.  (We want the other kids to see their friend eating and want to work one-on-one.)  Gordy stood up, pushed his chair in, and pointed at the paper cup the fish were in.

I pointed at the cup, too.  “How many do you want?”  I asked.

Gordy stared at me very seriously, then he reached over, picked up the paper cup and spilled the fish out onto the table.  He counted them out loud, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven ….”  Then he counted them again, nodded his head and looked up at me.  “I want seven,” he said.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Morgan, nice….we soccer fans count one two hat-trick as well 🙂

    Lovely story, Quill … food incentives might even encourage me to figure out math. Nobody’s tried yet 🙂

  2. Donna — that’s your mother nerves tingling.

    Melli — we’re struttin’!

    SN — it is great, because he is exactly where he should be developmentally, yet just a few months ago he came into the room over a year behind.

    Doug — fish is touted (or is that trouted?) as brain food.

    Morgan — And four is foul?

    Polona — he was very proud of himself. Our Gordy is a wonder.

    Bill – the thing I am apt to miss most is NAPTIME!

    Minka — I should think penguins would be very good at counting fish.

    Mumma — it does give off a warm glow.

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