The title of this post may seem impossible to some. I am one of those people. Me + Math = disaster......
But there is hope. Educators are getting better and better at identifying weaknesses/differences and serving those needs.
For children with learning difficulties, Math can be so frustrating because of it's complexities. Math is both concrete and abstract. And for my fellow Ontarians with children in the school system, Math is mind-boggling! The Ontario curriculum has changed so drastically the way they teach Math that parents are clueless to help even at the primary grades. Children are expected to draw their answers. To write their steps of thought. To justify by using pictures. To explain using words how they came to that answer. Depending on who you are speaking to it can be both wonderful and terrible!
In my quest to help Math make sense to youngsters, I came across a program that is the craze in England. It is geared to help students visualize math concepts to help them understand at both the concrete and the abstract level. Using hands-on manipulatives and tangible objectives, this program is helping children with great learning difficulties (especially children with Autism, Down's Syndrome and others that have higher than average visual memories) feel competent in Math.
What is the name of this fabulous program?
Here are pictures of my son using the Numicon shapes along with buttons to help reinforce the amounts.
Like any educational program, it is a specialty item and therefore is a little pricey. Numicon has 4 different levels or "kits"; Firm Foundations Kit, Kit #1, Kit #2 and Kit #3. They cover all the basics; counting, adding, multiplying, measurement, patterns, estimation,word problems, ect. The good thing is that each of the kits build onto one another so that does cut down on costs. The Starter kit is a few hundred dollars and then you can add on from there.
If you would like to try out a few of the free Numicon printable materials and see if it is something you may want to invest in then go here.
This program is a great way to warm preschoolers to the idea that Math can be fun. Or adults for that matter! I have to admit, I find myself enjoying the activities alongside the students. (Or maybe I'm just a big kid...)
Hope and happiness,
* I do not receive endorsements of any kind. My posts are entirely my opinion and/or experiences. I just wish to share the resources that I have found helpful.
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