Thursday, September 13, 2012

Math progress

We've had a little break through!    As I mentioned in a previous post, Cate has been having so much trouble with counting this year.  Her class goal is to count and write numbers up to 120 by the 9th week of school - they can use a number chart to help.  Her class is also counting by 10s, 5s and now starting 2s.  Cate on the other hand can only make it to 12 then starts making mistakes, so forget skip counting.  After a few weeks of completely frustrated homework where I'd make her say the numbers 1 - 120 while pointing to them on the number chart, we finally found a method that words.  You'd think that after I'd been through similar thing before - Cate doesn't like an activity, Cate refuses to cooperate, Mom continues to force the same activity with no results, Cate regresses, Mom finally figures out a new approach, Cate figures out the activity - so I wouldn't wait as long to try a new strategy.  I guess this is why I'm a mom not a teacher - slow learning curve here!

So after my last post I realized that I needed a new strategy before I went crazy so that day when I picked up Cate, I parked and went inside to chat with Cate's para-pro.  Turns out she had lots of good ideas and together we came up with a winner!  The first thing she said is not to try to do 1 - 120 with Cate at the same time.  DUH!!!!  I know better than that.  The other thing we discussed was making sure she was moving during the activity so she didn't tune out.   Our new math homework consists of a "treasure hunt".  I had a whole container of dry beans and pasta left over for a sensory table I made for the kids at Ric's birthday pool party so I put them all in a big bowl (with a lid for storage),  Then I took index cards and cut them into small squares.  I printed a number on each from 1 - 30) and buried them in the beans.  Cate then digs out each number from the beans and says the number out loud.  If she gets it wrong, I correct her and put the card back in the beans.  At first we just did 1 - 20, she pulled them all out then she put them in order as I said them.  The first time - she named all 20 number perfectly and identified them to put in line on the first try.  I didn't know whether to be thrilled she knew the numbers, mad at her since she hadn't been doing it every night for 3 weeks, or mad at myself for going 3 weeks without changing the activity.  After a couple days we moved to 1 - 30 cards and started doing number lines.  She pulls a few cards then I put them on the desk with spaces for the missing ones.  Then as she pulls the numbers she puts them into their spaces.  It still takes some help but she is getting better all the time.  Last night I tried a trial to see if there was real progress - we recited the number chart again.  Cate got probably 75% correct by me pointing to each number.  That is a huge improvement over where she was a week ago.

So the moral of the story is I need to learn my lesson - while repetition is important for Cate, (she may need to hear something 5 times where her typical peer might get it in 2) when we get to a frustration level for either of us we need to move on to an alternative task -  RIGHT AWAY not after hours of pulling my hair out.

By the way - Lucy loves this "game" too.  She can do 1 - 10 already and is working on 11 - 15 now!  It is pretty obvious she is learning from Cate these days not me.  We count a lot, in the car, on the swings, whenever I can fit it in.  Cate drops the #13 when she free counts to 20 probably 75% of the time.   So now I've noticed that Lucy is doing the same thing.  She can count to 21 but 100% of the time she misses 13!

I have a picture of the bean bowl project but I haven't downloaded it yet so here are a couple shots of "Dr. Cate" the other day to hold you over.

No comments:

Post a Comment