View Full Version : Daughter struggling in Math & Reading Comp - Need help with ideas


mlk2001
05-15-06, 02:15 PM
I have an daughter who has just completed her 2nd grade year. She is ADD and has struggled through out the year with reading comprehension as well as math. I am putting her in reading comprehension program this summer which hopefully will help her advance in this area.. We have struggled all year to work on her basic math facts. She constantly uses her fingers and in school that isn't allowed. :( I wanted to come here and ask everyone if there is something I can do to help. Is there websites out there that will help her want to learn them? One problem we have is when she gets home from school she is tired and spent so getting her wanting to do more is a huge battle. What do some of you do to help out that could work and help her? Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Maureen

barbyma
05-15-06, 06:03 PM
You didn't say if your daughter was taking medication.

I realize using fingers isn't aloud; they want the children to memorize math facts at this age. The problem is, ADD children have trouble memorizing and medication can only do so much.

If she does not have an IEP, I'd suggest talking to the principle and requesting services. If it's documented, she will receive accomodations that may include allowing her to work out math problems instead of memorizing the facts. My own son has trouble with calculation, but understands math very well. He still takes timed tests and works with flash cards, but both his teacher and I are satisfied with his effort as long as he continues to understand it all.

I also understand your reluctance to work your child to death after a long day at school. I refuse! We do homework in the mornings now, which ensures my son doesn't spend any more time than he should at it while also ensuring his medication hasn't worn off.

Good luck!

Foot-in-mouth
05-15-06, 06:16 PM
My mother did it with me with LOTS of time and TONS of patience and positive reinforcement. I find that word associaction games and funny rymes about the suject help me when studying spelling and such with my girls. No matter how corny the link to the subject, a funny saying will stick in her head and she says it really helps when she goes to take the test!

mlk2001
05-15-06, 06:40 PM
You didn't say if your daughter was taking medication.

I realize using fingers isn't aloud; they want the children to memorize math facts at this age. The problem is, ADD children have trouble memorizing and medication can only do so much.

If she does not have an IEP, I'd suggest talking to the principle and requesting services. If it's documented, she will receive accomodations that may include allowing her to work out math problems instead of memorizing the facts. My own son has trouble with calculation, but understands math very well. He still takes timed tests and works with flash cards, but both his teacher and I are satisfied with his effort as long as he continues to understand it all.

I also understand your reluctance to work your child to death after a long day at school. I refuse! We do homework in the mornings now, which ensures my son doesn't spend any more time than he should at it while also ensuring his medication hasn't worn off.

Good luck!
My daughter is on Concerta and it helps to some degree but doesnt "fix" everything. I have had talks with the school and they are stuck with memorizing them. She has been seen by school counslers and "experts" and they all say she is boarderline in the math area and her only problem is not memorizing the facts. We have worked with flash cards and I have even bought her a little computer that works just with math facts. We do it on a regular basis and she has stayed on the same path and it hasn't helped.

Mornings would be a good thing to handle homework in. My daughter though has a horrible time in the morning just getting motivated to get things as simple as getting dressed and eating done. I have a hard time getting her up in the morning and we end usually running late because of it. :( It is almost like she isn't rested good, even though she goes to bed about 8pm at night.

Is there any websites out there that anyone can suggest that work with math facts and could make it fun? She loves the computer and I am thinking this could be away to get her really motivated.

Thanks for your input.

mlk2001
05-15-06, 06:42 PM
My mother did it with me with LOTS of time and TONS of patience and positive reinforcement. I find that word associaction games and funny rymes about the suject help me when studying spelling and such with my girls. No matter how corny the link to the subject, a funny saying will stick in her head and she says it really helps when she goes to take the test!
You know we did this with vocablary words. I would make a song to it or weird dance movements when she was learning her words and their meanings. She would ace the test when ever we would work like this. I never thought about doing the math facts that way.

Wondering if I could use our swimming pool for some type of math game of simple facts?

ADHDSupport
05-15-06, 08:07 PM
Hi there

There is a website that I have gone to and its great you can make up your own math worksheets and crossword puzzles and stuff. I forget exactly what it is right now, it is in my favorites on my pc and I am using my laptop right now so I cant get access to that right this second but I will get back to you with it but for now all I can think of is use math in other aspects of your life not jsut at homework and school time. What I mean is for instance when you are cooking have her help add the ingredients and do the math like 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 hot water = 1 whole cup liquids, example. Or else things like at snack time give her 2 cookies and ask her how many more you would have to give her to make 9, etc. See what I mean? By working it into your daily lives, not only will she improve (hopefully) her math skills and be faster at computing but she will also see math applied to life rather than it being a boring subject at school.

Good luck
-A

mlk2001
05-15-06, 09:45 PM
Thanks great idea!!! I will definately work with that! :)

Uminchu
05-15-06, 09:56 PM
I would definitely look into an IEP. Some possibilities for math: allow finger counting; fewer problems; more time

My son is finishing up 2nd grade also. His math is basically OK (but he uses his fingers as needed), but his reading has lagged severely since 1st grade.

We have tried so many things to raise his reading level. After-school tutoring, a token system at home to encourage reading, ... One thing that kind of helped was Captain Underpants -- somehow stories of walking poo poo and teachers getting eaten by monster toilets appeals to the 7 year-old sense of humor... ;) We bought the Collector's Edition with every episode of Captain Underpants ever written... :cool:

But although we did work very hard and made some progress (6th percentile in reading in 1st grade to 12th percentile in 2nd grade), since starting medications about a month ago, our son's reading level has shot through the roof. We recently had a read-athon at school, and he came in 2nd or 3rd in his class. His reading is also much more fluent now, he actually looks at the context of the sentence instead of reading each word individually, etc. And most importantly -- when he is on meds, he actually enjoys reading and will read for pleasure.

barbyma
05-16-06, 03:32 AM
We have worked with flash cards and I have even bought her a little computer that works just with math facts. We do it on a regular basis and she has stayed on the same path and it hasn't helped. Ditto with my son. He can memorize a lot of things now that he's on meds, but not these meaningless bits!



Mornings would be a good thing to handle homework in. My daughter though has a horrible time in the morning just getting motivated to get things as simple as getting dressed and eating done. I have a hard time getting her up in the morning and we end usually running late because of it. :( It is almost like she isn't rested good, even though she goes to bed about 8pm at night.
That's actually a typical ADD thing, too. I also drag my son out of bed, but we are firm about it, so it's rarely a serious problem.


Is there any websites out there that anyone can suggest that work with math facts and could make it fun? She loves the computer and I am thinking this could be away to get her really motivated.No websites, but my son has enjoyed several computer games. Unfortunately, they don't help him memorize facts, but I don't care as long as he keeps up with the subject (which he does).

Math Blasters is my 8yo's favorite, but my 5yo has started Number Devil and really likes that one.

barbyma
05-16-06, 03:34 AM
Uminchu,

My son LOVED the Geronimo Stilton series. There are about 25 books right now & he's plowed through them all! Highly recommend them.

He also likes the Magic Treehouse books, but mostly reads the research guides (is he my son or what!):p

skel1977
05-16-06, 07:34 AM
I had the hardest time with math and I still do. The thing that helped me was an after school math tutour. I was lucky enough to have a mom that forced me to go. I fought and screamed because of course I was a kid and didnt want to go to a math tutour but in the end she wound up helping me a lot.

ADHDSupport
05-16-06, 10:04 AM
Hi mlk2001
I found the names of those websites. Here goes:
The one you can create your own worksheets: http://puzzlemaker.school.discovery.com/mathsquareform.html
From that section of the website you can use the drop down arrow to "Try other puzzles!"
Another good one:
www.schoolexpress.com (http://www.schoolexpress.com)
Free online math also free software downloads.
Good luck, I really hope it helps. My son is good at math, but he refuses to write stories. He will write other things, but when it comes to story writing time, he simply wont. So, i know how you are feeling! Frustrating!
-A

dormammau2008
05-16-06, 11:22 AM
;.l((((( maths never been my kind thing .....last time i did a test i was so low that i did even make any mark on the testtsss lol........dorm so anything that helps peps is good

LucySpace
05-17-06, 08:42 PM
I have an daughter who has just completed her 2nd grade year. She is ADD and has struggled through out the year with reading comprehension as well as math. I am putting her in reading comprehension program this summer which hopefully will help her advance in this area.. We have struggled all year to work on her basic math facts. She constantly uses her fingers and in school that isn't allowed. :( I wanted to come here and ask everyone if there is something I can do to help. Is there websites out there that will help her want to learn them? One problem we have is when she gets home from school she is tired and spent so getting her wanting to do more is a huge battle. What do some of you do to help out that could work and help her? Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Maureen What is 2nd grade, is that multiplication?
Oh man, I'm a senior math major and I still use my fingers to multiply.. especially the 8's. I'm not a fan of the 8's at all. 6x8? Forget about it.
One thing that may help her (that did help me) was practicing the method rather than being forced to recite facts in short-term memory that aren't actively put into long-term memory.
6x8 can be difficult to remember for those who have trouble with attention and memory, so other devices may be more effective. Perhaps you could practice ways to multiply that rely on method rather than factual memory. I don't know what your daughter's strong points are or what she really attaches to (or if she does this already) but one can learn the multiplication of 7x8 (for example) by remembering
-that it's like 7 rows of 8 items,
-or that it's 8x8-8
-or 7x7+7.
Squares are my strong point, so I often base my multiplication on that. 64-8 is much easier to figure out than the comparatively obscure and somewhat frustrating quantity 7x8. Again, I'm not sure what your daughter is good at remembering, but you might be able to adapt a similar method for her. It might be a worthwhile exercise to map out all the different ways you can represent the quantity. Don't bother with big shows; that will be distracting. Something like drawing a tiny grid of dots is easier to fit onto that overcrowded mental blackboard.
Computers are sometimes easier for those with ADD to focus on, so perhaps a Number Munchers program or something similar would be effective.

One thing that helped me when I was that age was having a ruler with my name on it that also had the multiplication table printed on it-- whenever I would get distracted from my reading, I would shift my attention while still looking at the ruler repeatedly (because I really liked that damn ruler... and I still have it :p) until I was able to concentrate again.
It can be difficult to force her to learn things when she has trouble paying attention, but it's hard to avoid the things you look at every day by habit.

I can imagine that getting her to learn anything by force would be hard and I really admire your effort. I don't know if my suggestions have helped (especially since I really haven't offered anything concrete) but I hope you will remember that sometimes those with ADD have a lot of trouble with strict memorization; things in the short-term memory don't always get encoded into the long-term memory when distracted.

Since I suck as a math major, I'm double checking my numbers. It can't hurt to review some of the multiplication table, can it? 7x8=64-8=56 and then we have 6x8=56-8=48. Am I right?
Double checking that, since 6x8=48 never looks right to me.
6x6=36 so 6x8=36+12=48. Okay, I guess it's right. :D

Edit: And you don't have to start out with such big numbers, either. You can start out practicing small and work up to the trickier numbers.

barbyma
05-18-06, 01:58 AM
What is 2nd grade, is that multiplication?2nd grade starts with addition & subtraction (basic facts should have been memorized by then), moves through regrouping & carryover & such.

They start on multiplication near the end of the year to prep them for 3rd grade. My son's in Advanced Studies, though, so I don't think they expect all of the kids to perform at that level.

Graph paper is supposed to help, but my son doesn't use it any differently than blank scratch paper.

Be careful with manipulatives (physical tools like beads or chips). The research shows that they can be very helpful for some, but very detrimental for others. If your daughter isn't "getting it" with the manipulatives, they may do more harm that good.

dormammau2008
05-18-06, 03:10 PM
;l(((( iam about 3erd gade then dorm

QueensU_girl
05-18-06, 04:34 PM
I think that children in Grade 2 (age 6/7) should be allowed to use fingers. I think anyone with advanced training in Education (eg Masters, etc) would agree with this, too.

Most kids do it. Every person i've known, grows out of it.

Same with "Mirror vision". (eg. writing single Letters and single Numbers "backwards")... the answer "is" written correctly, but just mirror/backwards in "form"; that also should never be punished.
(it is a visual developmental phase some kids go thru...)

Why is she not permitted to use a tool (this behaviour) that facilitates her learning ?!

[Hello logic? Giving her rules to make her feel bad/self-conscious, will just mess up her learning confidence even more.]

What kind of Pedagogy and Praxis is that?

NB. Sort of a rhetorical question -- moreso for the Teachers/School Administrators... not expecting a real answer from ADDForums Folks.

If someone told me that (re: my own hypothetical child), i'd flip out [politely].

It's hard to believe that some Teacher's have really spent 4-5 years in College or University, sometimes. Yeesh.

barbyma
05-18-06, 09:10 PM
I think that children in Grade 2 (age 6/7) should be allowed to use fingers. I think anyone with advanced training in Education (eg Masters, etc) would agree with this, too.Well, I've got an advance degree in a highly-related field (cognitive psych) and I've specifically studied how people learn.

What I think? Kids should be allowed to use whatever works!

Unfortunately, most of the people making these kinds of decisions do so using hunches & discussion, but no real data to show what works.

What all of the research suggests is that the best learning is through exposure and personal experience. If we allow children to find their own "work arounds" for the problems that they encounter learning specific methods, they will have those tools for the rest of their lives!

Teach a man to fish.....


BTW, my kids best teachers agree with you about reversals & fingers. That doesn't mean they ignore it -- they correct it and move on without punishment as you suggested.

Why isn't it allowed by all teachers/schools? (Rhetorical or not, it's a valid question!) I think it probably has something to do with control and maybe a little bit of arrogance, but that's just a guess...


It's hard to believe that some Teacher's have really spent 4-5 years in College or University, sometimes. Yeesh.It wouldn't be so hard to believe if you actually graded some of the papers I get from my students.....:( :p

anamari
05-19-06, 01:50 PM
My son had the luck to learn in an Waldorf school for his first two years- not only that they alow using fingers or chesnuts for counting ,adding and even multiplying , but they encourage it...they also use a lot of visual support in the first four years of school-

as for a good teacher
-he moved in the fifth grade form a school district to another. at the old school they used lattices for multiplication- the new one used the classical method...Alex thought that he is supposed to use this new method now9why did he thought that I do not know) and he kept on getting wrong results at each multiplication-and failing his tests as well. so I wrote a polite letter to the teacher explainig her that he should be allowed to use whatever he is more comfortable with...and she totally agreed with me. She said that a child should use whatever works the best for her/him...
(I do not know about here but we were aloud to use a draft paper at any exam I ever took in my life- and nobody cared what I wrote in the draft, that is , what twisted method I used to get the correct answer...)...

.

mlk2001
05-21-06, 10:54 PM
I agree she should be allowed to use her fingers or what ever she is comfertable with. The teachers will not let her use sratch paper or anything. I have tried and talked to the teacher as well as the principal and it won't happen. :( All I hear is she needs to memorize the facts or she will struggle greatly in 3rd grade.
I personally wish I could home school her, If I could work that out I think her confidence would go up greatly and she would learn more. If it was possible I would be able to work around her "moments".

You know all I hear from the school is that she isn't up to par and maybe I need to change her meds... Excuse me! What about opening up your way of teaching. Not every kid learns the same! :(

mlk2001
05-21-06, 11:00 PM
Hi mlk2001
I found the names of those websites. Here goes:
The one you can create your own worksheets: http://puzzlemaker.school.discovery.com/mathsquareform.html
From that section of the website you can use the drop down arrow to "Try other puzzles!"
Another good one:
www.schoolexpress.com (http://www.schoolexpress.com/)
Free online math also free software downloads.
Good luck, I really hope it helps. My son is good at math, but he refuses to write stories. He will write other things, but when it comes to story writing time, he simply wont. So, i know how you are feeling! Frustrating!
-A
Thanks for these! She loves the computer so this is one reason I wanted to go this route. I have exhausted everything else I know how to do.

Scattered
05-22-06, 02:12 AM
I taught my daughter to use her fingers -- the basic math facts just didn't want to stick. I still use mine frequently. I've been homeschooling and don't know what we'll do if next year's teacher doesn't allow it -- oh boy, something else to worry about.

As far as what are they teaching teachers, when I had to input the grades and college entrance scores into the computer for the teaching students at my college, I was shock and dismayed -- the scores were abysmal. I don't know how much that has changed in the past 20 years. On the other hand three years running the girl voted mostly likely to succeed also went on to become a teacher -- so you've got both ends of the spectrum. It takes a lot of advocacy on the part of the parent.



Scattered

JACQUELINE
05-29-06, 05:58 PM
Hi! I Want You To Know You Are Not Alone. Dealing With Add/adhd Is Hard. You Stay Involved In Every Way. Talk To The Teachers And Anyone That Will Listen. With Myself. All I Know Is To Defend My Son. My Son Have Adhd And I Sometimes Blame My Self That He Is This Way. I Did Everything Right When I Was Pregnant But Still I Blame My Self. The Reason I Am On This Site Is Because I Wanted To See What Others Say About Add/adhd. Pray And Be Patient. Easy To Say And I Need To Follow My Own Advise. Remember That Learning Starts At Home. It Is Hard But The Love We Have For Our Children Will Gets Us On The Path We Need To Go.

mamasparkleface
05-29-06, 10:33 PM
hi
i just want to take a quick second to share what works for me in multiplication so that i don't have to use my fingers.

i picture the number in my head as if it were on a domino and i take the multiplying number around that.

I was never able to just memorize the times tables and this is what worked for me.

6 x 6

In my head i say:
6 + 6 is 12 + 6 is 18 two times ( for two rows of 3 ).

I guess I picture each number as having certain points (dots) to it some in relation to the shape of the number like the number 8 I see with four dots on each "corner" of the top loop and four dots on each "corner" of the bottom loop.

seven was a lot harder for me to work out but after awhile I just got used to doing two equal rows of 3 dots with a dot in the middle

as I am practicing this in my head trying to explain it i see that sometimes i also physically move my head around the dots counting.

This is very difficult to explain but I hope it makes some sense and maybe it might help your daughter.

My daughter is also ADHD and struggling in math in school so I feel your pain to some extent, but for a school to not allow a child to learn and work by whatever means neccesary is outlandish.

Unbelievable:eek::confused::eek::confused::faint:. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this.

Laura

Paws13
05-30-06, 06:18 PM
I have an daughter who has just completed her 2nd grade year. She is ADD and has struggled through out the year with reading comprehension as well as math. I am putting her in reading comprehension program this summer which hopefully will help her advance in this area.. We have struggled all year to work on her basic math facts. She constantly uses her fingers and in school that isn't allowed. :( I wanted to come here and ask everyone if there is something I can do to help. Is there websites out there that will help her want to learn them? One problem we have is when she gets home from school she is tired and spent so getting her wanting to do more is a huge battle. What do some of you do to help out that could work and help her? Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
MaureenOh dear, I remember this age... I was reading your issues and could completely relate. To the math part, atleast. To this day, I use my fingers; I STILL don't know what 7+8 is without fingers, and I'm 15! Is it possible that your daughter has a math learning disability? I think I might, but I'm not sure.

Then again, now there is better technology, like Google. You can google "math tips" or scan the forums for some study tips, fun ways to make math learning easier, etc. Or what also works are those computer programs (such as Jump Start, Leap Frog, Space Blasters etc.) based on helping kids read and do math. If none of the above works, I suggest she uses toes or hides her fingers under her desk so that the teacher can't see her using her fingers; I learned this from experiance :D

Whatever you do, I hope you find a solution soon; but I'm sure your daughter is very bright and talented, and probably won't end up in my situation using fingers at adulthood :p

techmale
07-08-06, 04:21 PM
hi

I am afraid I have no idea about the basic maths, I always found it came naturally, but the reading is something I can relate to very well.

The only thing I know about maths ability is that it is very hard to progress beyond the point where you lose the ability to visualise the maths in question. This may be little use for basic maths, but for anything else, if you can visualise it, then you can understand it.

I now teach advanced reading techniques and wrote some software, reallyeasyreader, that completely changes reading ability. Although the software would be too much for such a young child, the principals involved can be applied.

Going with some of the suggestions above, letting children find their own way is often far more effective than trying to force them into doing it 'your' way.

Most children use their finger as a pointer to read when young. This is usually stopped by their teachers as their reading develops. This is a great shame as the use of a pointer is a very natural way to lead the eyes, especially across something as lacking in variation as text.

The use of a pointer is one of the basic techniques taught in advanced reading courses, but it is equally applicable at any age, ie: it helps reading.

If you would like more detailed information about this, please visit my (URL removed by moderator) page. Please note that while it focuses on advanced reading, it can all be applied at any level.

dormammau2008
07-08-06, 05:13 PM
hello tecto male id be intreted to knoew more on the easy reader ....dorm

dormammau2008
07-08-06, 05:15 PM
theres no easy way around maths iknow all two well but with love an understanding it will help in more ways than one plus a good thechter is a very good thing dorm

chloe516
07-08-06, 05:24 PM
Most children use their finger as a pointer to read when young. This is usually stopped by their teachers as their reading develops. This is a great shame as the use of a pointer is a very natural way to lead the eyes, especially across something as lacking in variation as text.

The use of a pointer is one of the basic techniques taught in advanced reading courses, but it is equally applicable at any age, ie: it helps reading.

I'm a reading specialist. While I agree pointing is an important help to children, it does slow down reading pace and that's why teachers encourage the children to stop pointing after they reach a certain level. If the reading rate is too low, they lose the flow of the text and comprehension suffers.

A knowledgeable teacher would teach the children "have your finger ready to jump in when you need help." This way they can maintain their reading rate, but still have the support of finger pointing while struggling.

Of course there are people who struggle with tracking and there are rulers that have a band of transparency in the middle to help tracking. I believe they are called EZ-Readers. Index cards work well too.

Same theory for using fingers for math facts. That is a useful tool for learning facts, but most children end up computing the facts faster if they are memorized. Once again, there are differences and that should be taken into account.