Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cate's Math Homework (Day 9 of 31/21)

So yesterday I talked about what Spelling homework is like for Cate.  Now while spelling homework is actually an area she does well in (She actually got an 80% on the test Friday!!! She missed "then".) and that we don't struggle as often, math is another story.  Cate definitely did not inherit my or Ric's math understanding genes.  She HATEs it most of the time.  Her class is suppose to have reached a goal of counting and writing 1 - 120 about now.  Cate is barely at 30.  I think it is a combination of things - one) she doesn't care about it or understand why she should yet, two) speech is a factor because some of her numbers sound very similar when she says them like 13, 14 ,15 or 20 & 30 so she gets confused, three) it is repetative and Cate doesn't do repetative.  A mentioned our technique for dealing with the torture that was the math section of her homework but thought I'd bring it back here since it was topical and I have some clear pictures of the process.  We did fall away from this activity for a while and work on smaller versions of the paper number lines the kids are being tested on and she does seem to be doing better.  But the "beans" are something we can fall back to when things seems to have stalled.  The basics are that I took a large bowl and filled it with dry beans of different colors and small dry pasta.  Then I made little squares with numbers on them and hid them in the bowl.  So Cate does a treasure hunt to find the numbers, then when she does she has to say the number word then put it in the number line.  We are getting to a place where I hardly every have to tell her the number word or at least I only have to hint at it.  She also is getting the correct postion in the number line over 50% fo the time.  These are big improvements over a month ago but we'll take it since we've really moved our focus to reading for now.  So I'll let Cate show you how it works:

I normally start the number line when we have 6 or 7 numbers.

last one!

ta da!!!
It is a system that works well for us because it is fun and interactive while still fulfilling the main goal of being able to fill in number lines.  We did 1 - 30 on this day but it can be 20 - 50 or any set of numbers we want to work on.  Cate's teacher has also approved this as a substitute activity for homework like skip counting by 2s which she can't manage right now.  The beans have been our favorite activity I haven't tried any others yet.  One activity that I learned about was fishing - you take little index card squares like our numbers and put a paper clip on them.  Then use a magnet on a string to fish for the numbers (or letters or words).  That is probably what I'll try next when this activity loses it effectivness.


  1. Okay, that is the coolest way to teach counting skills!

  2. ...feeling the panic rising for my own inadequacy at teaching my daughter... This is AWESOME!!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing all these great ideas. It will be a great resource when my daughter is older.