Monday, February 18, 2013


 Yesterday I went to our local GiGi's Playhouse  for an open meeting and class on 'The Learner With Down syndrome', followed by a three hour training session on their math tutoring program. I left full of new idea's on how to work with Vada when teaching her math and was excited to jump right into it!

This morning we started our math lesson off simple and worked our way into the "bigger" stuff. 

Vada loves her some popcorn! That's why when I found this Count'em Up Popcorn "game", last year, I just knew that it would be a great way to begin to introduce counting to her! 

I simply placed the numbered bowl in front of her and showed her the number. I told her what the number represented and tapped the bowl that many of times and then placed that many pieces of popcorn in front of her. I then asked her to place the popcorn into the bowls while counting each piece while she dropped them in. Easy peasy just repetitious and good for her memory. We also worked on stacking the bowls in order and then cleaning up our mess when we were done, which is what we do after each project. 

Our next "lesson" was a bit more difficult. I used the 1-2-3- Touch & Flip Cards from Get Ready For School ( a Handwriting Without Tears Product), combined with Learning Resources Interlocking Gram Unit Cubes.

I started out by introducing the flashcards to Vada. Each flashcard is double sided. The flashcard kit comes with two separate sets, each numbered one through ten. I showed the fronts and backs of each card to Vada and explained what each number or picture represented. One side of one of the sets of cards are actually textured, (As seen below on the blue number one that Vada is tracing with her finger.). On the opposite side of the traceable cards are animals. The number of animals match the number on its opposite side. The second set of cards have black numbers on one side and then colored squares on its opposite sides. For our lesson today, we used the animal side as well as the colored square sides of the cards.

We focused only on numbers one through five today and will remain here until Vada is familiar with these numbers and then I will begin to add on a new numbers for her to learn.
After counting out the animals up to the number five we began to use the cards with the colored squares on it. I would lay a square card in front of Vada with a matching Gram cube and ask her to put the cube onto the card. As she would place the cube onto the card I would count for her. After she would fill the card with the cubed we would push the card under its matching animal number.

Vada held out strong until the very end of card number four and then with number five she really needed some cheering but she finished and that's what counts! It's hard for me at this point to tell if it was too hard or too boring for her or maybe even a little of both? We'll keep working on it though!

Our next lesson could fit into a number of categories  language, reading and speech are just the first three that come to mind however. This activity is very similar to the photo flashcards that I shared from our first day in our new classroom. The magnet set can be found at Lakeshore Learning. I went through all of the sets last night and picked out all of the magnets that I thought would be best to work with Vada with now (for language, for speech, for sign language and so on..). Today, I turned then all over and randomly grabbed two at a time, showing her them as I lifted them up and gave her the option of which one we would "talk" about. Which ever one she chose we would read the word, talk about the colors we saw, pretend to eat it if it were food, talk about where it was in our house or on our body and so on...

We played with Play-Doh.

We began to work on Vada's Family Sight Word kit. She, by the way, is ready for sight words!

For Valentine's Day Grandma and Grandpa got her a very cool large peg board by Quercetti, Vada worked on her stacking skills and her finer motor skills while going through the colors of the rainbow as well!

Everyday that we do school I make sure to have Vada do some sort of writing, coloring or drawing because by doing this she is working on her grasp as well as building the muscles in her hands. 

Vada struggles with lacing, partly because we haven't spent a whole lot of time doing this activity and also, I think, because it isn't very interesting to her. She doesn't come right out and tell me that this is a boring task to do but she shows absolutely no interest in it at all! Nevertheless, it is something that the books and therapists all agree that should be able to be done by a child her age so we continue to buckle down and work hard at it.

I'm surprised at how quickly Vada has adjusted to doing school. She seems to really enjoy it and is soaking all of what we do up! I notice that even the lessons she doesn't particularly care for she at least attempts to do and that's all I could ever ask! 

Our "class" time is lasting two hours each day and we do it everyday that we have open. This week we have four days available. Last week we had three. We will take it one day at a time but we plan on schooling Vada throughout the summer so that we can continue to keep moving forward. However, we will take little breaks here and there as needed. 

1 comment:

Anna Theurer said...

I am very impressed. Ellie doesn't sit very long so our teaching sessions are a few minutes here and a few minutes there. I am working on numbers. First of all just recognizing the number. Then I will work on the concept of counting/math. I love all of your ideas!