I have recently pulled out my "Teaching Math to People with Down Syndrome..." book after it took a little vacation in a box in the basement! I used this book a lot when I was teaching, and it's been helpful once again as I figure out how to best help Zoya in the area of math! I really did forget how much I love this book! It has a lot of great ideas to make math more concrete rather than abstract for our kids! (On a side note, there is also a "Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome" book in this same series that is also very helpful!)
I've been researching some math programs that might be best for Zoya and have narrowed it down to a couple. One of those is Numicon and the other is Math-U-See. I'm going to continue looking into both...but if you have experience with either of these programs with a child with Down Syndrome, I'd love to hear about your experience!
Some of the beginning concepts we've been working on include rote counting to 20, arranging numbers 1-10 in order, 1-1 correspondance, more and less, counting items up to 10 items, telling how many are in a set after counting them, understanding zero, and completing patterns. The very most basic concepts that we started with that Zoya has now mastered are matching and sorting by color, size, and other attributes, showing one more, simple comparisons (more or less, big or little, same or different), and identifying written numbers 1-20. So that is the foundation on which we are building.
I took a few videos today while I was working with Zoya. You can see that I pretty much adapt as I go and see needs or see that she isn't understanding.
Here is Zoya working on ordering numbers 1-10. I got this cool wooden number block set on Zulily before Christmas! I LOVE it and we use it for lots of different math activities!
Here we are working on "what comes next." If you noticed in the first video, Zoya keeps going back to number 1 to start counting all over again. I don't discourage it because it helps her practice counting, but she has difficulty counting on. So practicing "what comes next" will help her to count up from a certain number.
This was the first time I attempted to use this tool for 1-1 correspondence. As you can see, she struggled to grasp the concept....so after this I gave her a little break and came up with a tool that would help her understand this concept a bit better. You'll see that in the video after this one!
In this video, you can see the tool I came up with to help her! I just drew a grid on some paper and cut it out so it showed one square per number (1 square after the #1 block, 2 squares after the #2 block). I like this because you can see how she looks at the squares for the first few and is able to grab that many counters to match. Without this tool she had no idea how many to grab for the number and kept getting distracted by having to grab one at a time and count. I also like the grid because I could easily turn it the other way and have the numbers along the side instead of the top. In hindsight I'd have used a different color paper since it blends in with the table (or put a different colored mat down under it). Also, I only made it go up to 7 because that's as big as my piece of paper was, and also...I won't move on to more until she masters these smaller numbers first. Once she does I'll just add on to this grid by tapping another sheet of paper to it! There are so many ways to practice this same concept, but I think this is going to be one of our favorites!
And one last video. I dug this puzzle out of the basement and Zoya enjoys it. It's great for counting and ordering numbers. You could also do the above activity with this puzzle, putting the correct number of items under each train car number. I like it because it allows her to move around a bit more. Hands-on is the key for Zoya learning math, so with everything I do with her for math skills!
Please let me know if these videos are helpful! I'm trying something new after a few blog readers requested some more videos of how I teach the girls. I'm passionate about teaching, since it was my first profession, and a bit of a nerd in that area, so I'm happy to share ideas. Just remember every child is different...what works for one of my children doesn't necessarily work for the others, so I'm constantly trying to adapt to their needs and figure out the best ways to help them understand the concepts!