ADDitives

05-03-07, 05:40 AM

.... I'll give you the context of how I come into all this.

As part of my course, I am in a unit of study called the Diagnostic Mathematics Intervention Clinic. First we learned all about Diagnostic Testing and Data Driven Decision Making (type either of these into a search to read more), and then we went into a school to test children, and work with them in small groups or on a 1:1 basis.

My group has year 4 (4th grade, 8 - 9 years old) children.

The child I have, got NOTHING CORRECT on the year 4 testing (most of it was interview style testing). Not even reading a 3-digit number like 253.

I had planned to test her on the year 2 material today, but went no further than the second page. All the questions were things like "count how many snails", or "write the number the teacher tells you" or "read these numbers".

There was no point going any further into the test.... SHE COULDN'T EVEN DO THAT!

Further probing told me that she actually can't count past 12 with confidence. Sometimes she even gets 5, 6, 7, 8 mixed up. She usually skips 15, and even went one time from 16 to 19.

I showed her a 0- 99 chart, and how the numbers go from 0 -9 and this repeats over and over again (e.g. 0, 1, 2.... 20, 21, 22.... 30, 31, 32.....), and how it also repeats in the 10s (e.g. 0, 10, 20, 30, 40...).

It then came to my attention that not only does she NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEENS AND TENS (e.g. 13 and 30, 15 and 50) she can't actually discriminate the SOUNDS. She will call 50 "fifteen".

She just can't SAY it (apart from not knowing the sequence).

I even did some ad-hoc speech therapy, getting her first to say "teeN" (emphasising the N like "tee- neh") and then without the N, by getting her to say "eeeeeeeeeee" then "teeeeeeeeee" like "a cup of tea" and "the letter tea"..... still didn't get it.

Then I started writing down things like..

- I wrote '4' and told her to say it, then next to it i wrote 't' and asked her to say that, then say it together... 4t.... she still said "four teen"

THEN... we counted buttons, and she didn't understand why it's important to say all the numbers when you count things.

I explained that...

- we count to say 'how many'

- the last number you say tells you 'how many'

and demonstrated that you don't get 'how many' if you skip a number... e.g., I laid out 6 buttons (actual buttons, like the ones on shirts..) and counted "1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8" while pointing to them. I said "are there 8?" and she counted them and said "no there are 6".

Then I demonstrated that no matter what you DO with those 6 buttons, even if you shake them, blow on them, wave them above your head, and mix them up on the table (I did all that too!!) that there are still 6. The only time 'how many' changes, is when you put more in or take some away.

THEN.....

I laid out 4 popsticks. "I have four, how many more do I need to make 5?".

child's answer.... 5? 6? 4?????

She also tried just counting me 5 DIFFERENT sticks..

So I picked them up. "I am HOLDING five sticks.... I don't want to put any down.... I want to keep these ones... but I want to be holding onto 6.... you need to give me some... how many???"

She still couldn't do it.

SO I WENT LOWER!!!!! Can you guess?

"I am HOLDING ONE STICK..... I don't want to put it down.... but I want to have TWO STICKS... how many do you need to give me?"

child's responses were such as : 4?? 6?? 3?? 2??

finally we got to 'one' and verified that by saying "we know that one plus one is two".

Wow..... And this child is 8 or 9. This stuff is below the first year of school.... And I have anohter 3 sessions, one hour each, over the next 3 weeks.

I'm starting out with flashcards 1 - 20.

I decided getting her to count 1 - 50 was too optimistic.

I think my desired outcomes will be....

- counts 1 - 20 with fluency

- counts a collection of objects, upto 20

- recognises the numbers 1 - 20 in symbol (numeral) format

- gives (by counting) a requested number of objects, upto 20

And I almost think THAT is a little too optimistic.

Background on the child:

- Father is an Indigenous Australian, mother is Italian. I don't know any more than that

- Her literacy is low too. I think the only thing she can spell is her name. But she knows the letters.

- She has difficulty reading a simple sentence like "What do I think I am good at in maths?"

- I am THINKING.. but don't know for sure, that she hasn't had much schooling. I don't know how it happened, but it just seems to me like this is her first or second year of school, and she was obviously already "behind the 8-ball".

- My lecturer suggested to me that maybe she has Dyscalculia... and just won't be able to understand 'number' concepts.

SIGH....

Comments, suggestions, your own stories, suggestions, help, respite????

As part of my course, I am in a unit of study called the Diagnostic Mathematics Intervention Clinic. First we learned all about Diagnostic Testing and Data Driven Decision Making (type either of these into a search to read more), and then we went into a school to test children, and work with them in small groups or on a 1:1 basis.

My group has year 4 (4th grade, 8 - 9 years old) children.

The child I have, got NOTHING CORRECT on the year 4 testing (most of it was interview style testing). Not even reading a 3-digit number like 253.

I had planned to test her on the year 2 material today, but went no further than the second page. All the questions were things like "count how many snails", or "write the number the teacher tells you" or "read these numbers".

There was no point going any further into the test.... SHE COULDN'T EVEN DO THAT!

Further probing told me that she actually can't count past 12 with confidence. Sometimes she even gets 5, 6, 7, 8 mixed up. She usually skips 15, and even went one time from 16 to 19.

I showed her a 0- 99 chart, and how the numbers go from 0 -9 and this repeats over and over again (e.g. 0, 1, 2.... 20, 21, 22.... 30, 31, 32.....), and how it also repeats in the 10s (e.g. 0, 10, 20, 30, 40...).

It then came to my attention that not only does she NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEENS AND TENS (e.g. 13 and 30, 15 and 50) she can't actually discriminate the SOUNDS. She will call 50 "fifteen".

She just can't SAY it (apart from not knowing the sequence).

I even did some ad-hoc speech therapy, getting her first to say "teeN" (emphasising the N like "tee- neh") and then without the N, by getting her to say "eeeeeeeeeee" then "teeeeeeeeee" like "a cup of tea" and "the letter tea"..... still didn't get it.

Then I started writing down things like..

- I wrote '4' and told her to say it, then next to it i wrote 't' and asked her to say that, then say it together... 4t.... she still said "four teen"

THEN... we counted buttons, and she didn't understand why it's important to say all the numbers when you count things.

I explained that...

- we count to say 'how many'

- the last number you say tells you 'how many'

and demonstrated that you don't get 'how many' if you skip a number... e.g., I laid out 6 buttons (actual buttons, like the ones on shirts..) and counted "1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8" while pointing to them. I said "are there 8?" and she counted them and said "no there are 6".

Then I demonstrated that no matter what you DO with those 6 buttons, even if you shake them, blow on them, wave them above your head, and mix them up on the table (I did all that too!!) that there are still 6. The only time 'how many' changes, is when you put more in or take some away.

THEN.....

I laid out 4 popsticks. "I have four, how many more do I need to make 5?".

child's answer.... 5? 6? 4?????

She also tried just counting me 5 DIFFERENT sticks..

So I picked them up. "I am HOLDING five sticks.... I don't want to put any down.... I want to keep these ones... but I want to be holding onto 6.... you need to give me some... how many???"

She still couldn't do it.

SO I WENT LOWER!!!!! Can you guess?

"I am HOLDING ONE STICK..... I don't want to put it down.... but I want to have TWO STICKS... how many do you need to give me?"

child's responses were such as : 4?? 6?? 3?? 2??

finally we got to 'one' and verified that by saying "we know that one plus one is two".

Wow..... And this child is 8 or 9. This stuff is below the first year of school.... And I have anohter 3 sessions, one hour each, over the next 3 weeks.

I'm starting out with flashcards 1 - 20.

I decided getting her to count 1 - 50 was too optimistic.

I think my desired outcomes will be....

- counts 1 - 20 with fluency

- counts a collection of objects, upto 20

- recognises the numbers 1 - 20 in symbol (numeral) format

- gives (by counting) a requested number of objects, upto 20

And I almost think THAT is a little too optimistic.

Background on the child:

- Father is an Indigenous Australian, mother is Italian. I don't know any more than that

- Her literacy is low too. I think the only thing she can spell is her name. But she knows the letters.

- She has difficulty reading a simple sentence like "What do I think I am good at in maths?"

- I am THINKING.. but don't know for sure, that she hasn't had much schooling. I don't know how it happened, but it just seems to me like this is her first or second year of school, and she was obviously already "behind the 8-ball".

- My lecturer suggested to me that maybe she has Dyscalculia... and just won't be able to understand 'number' concepts.

SIGH....

Comments, suggestions, your own stories, suggestions, help, respite????