The Reason Why Teaching Children to Count Just Got Harder

It was all so simple when I was a child growing up in the late 1970s. Australia switched to teaching the metric system in public school two years before I was born so I didn’t have to learn a new way to count. We had base 10 from day 1. That was simple. None of that duodecimal – base 12 crap.

Having said that though, I did enjoy singing along to the Pinball Number Count song on Sesame Street even though it was teaching a base 12 counting structure. Remember that song?

But for the most part, whether learning at home or learning at school, it was really simple back in the 1970s and 1980s; to count to ten all we had to do was this…

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

But things are different now. Now we have a few different methods of counting to ten.

Counting to 10 Based on the Star Wars Method

George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars saga introduced an interesting way to count to ten back in 1999.

His method goes like this…

4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 7, (Rouge) 1, 8, Solo, 9, Fett…

I’m still lost on when and how you reach the number 10. But I’m sure all will be explained in time.

Counting to 10 Based on the Rocky Method

Sylvester Stallone, the creator of the successful Rocky movie franchise has his own unique method of counting to 10, although it’s possibly due to not being able to understand him, or his lack of trying that I haven’t found out exactly how and when we’ll reach ten with his method.

His method goes like this…

Rocky, II, III, IV, V, Balboa, Creed

The Rocky method of counting was noted in the Simpsons episode Lemon of Troy. During a class lesson, Bart’s teacher Mrs Krabappel tries to teach the class Roman Numerals. Her class is disrupted when Nelson announces to the class that something has happened (the Springfield lemon tree had been stolen) yet there was no time to explain.

mrs krabappel teaching roman numerals
Edna: No, children, no! Your education is important. Roman numerals, etcetera. Whatever. I tried! [lights a cigarette] Photo courtesy of The Simpsons.

Later in the episode as Bart is running away from some Shelbyville kids who are chasing after him, he suddenly and mistakenly runs into a tiger cage. He needs to exit through door 7 in order to get out (the sign on the entrance says “Caution: exit through door 7 only. All other rooms contain man-eating tigers.”), but notices that the doors have Roman numerals on them, and Bart exclaims to himself: “Roman numerals? They never even tried to teach us that in school.”

After consulting with Milhouse to no avail, he remembers where he’s seen Roman numerals:

“Think, Bart. Where have you seen Roman numerals before? I know…Rocky V! That was the fifth one. So, Rocky five plus Rocky two equals…Rocky VII! “Adrian’s Revenge”!

And naturally Bart escapes just as the kids tiger cage enter.

Counting to 10 Based on the Microsoft Method

The latest method has just been finalised over the last few days.

Bill Gates, the creator of the successful Microsoft brand of computer programmes has his own unique method of counting to 10

His method goes like this…

1, 2, 2.1, 2.11, 3, 3.1, NT 3.1, 3.5, 3.51, 95, NT 4.0, 98, 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP, 2003, XP 2004, XP 2005, XP X64, Vista, 2008, 7, 2008 R2, 2011, 2012, 8, RT, 8.1, 2012 R2, 10

It’s a lot harder, but you DO eventually get to 10.

A Better Way To Count to Ten?

But are these better ways to count to ten? George Lucas and Bill Gates are amongst the richest people to ever lived, and Sylvester Stallone is a hugely successful actor and businessman himself so it would seem that any of these counting systems are far superior to the way that I was taught, and the way you and I are teaching our children.

So maybe, just maybe, these are better ways to teach your children to count to ten.

And you thought Common Core Mathematics was difficult enough already…


2 thoughts on “The Reason Why Teaching Children to Count Just Got Harder

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