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Double digit numbers!?!? We're stumped. Advice please


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  #1  
May 18th, 2011, 12:20 PM
mamma_anna's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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So Ellie is thriving at home in almost every way! She's talking more, reading at a first grade level, and even her handwriting has improved. But we've hit a wall with math and I'm not sure what to do.

She can count up to 50 pretty consistently with or without objects or pictures. But if she messes up anywhere after 9 she has to start over from zero. And she can't for the life of her, visually recognize double digit numbers as one number. If I show her 12 for example, and say "what's this number?" she either says "I don't know." or she says "that's a 1 and that's a 2." If I say "Okay put them together and then what do you get?" she says "3". If I ask her to find the 12 in a group of numbers, she wouldn't know it if it jumped up and bit her!
We have a set of number magnets on the fridge that go up to 25. She plays with them all the time. If I mix them up and ask her to put them back in order she can fly through 1-9 but then she's totally stuck. If I line them up for her she can count them no problem but it wouldn't matter to her if I switched them out for animal magnets. It's the same process to her. She can't recognize the numbers out of context. Does that make sense?

Is there anything I can do to help her? Or is this one of those things she'll pick up eventually if we back off?
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  #2  
May 18th, 2011, 01:35 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Have you tried something like this where the numbers can't be broken apart? Amazon.com: Melissa & Doug Numbers Sound Puzzle: Toys & Games
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  #3  
May 18th, 2011, 01:47 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
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I totally understand what your saying, going through too. I am finding if I just back off and stop pushing her it seems to sink in on her own. She was struggling with her ABC's and now it just seems to have clicked with her and she can get through it all almost with almost no help at all and the same goes with her counting.
I do like that puzzle that she put the link up for, might think about getting it or making something along those lines.
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  #4  
May 18th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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To me it sounds like a place value issue. I would try using lots of maniplatives and hands on activities. Tens Frames are best - she needs to know and trust that 10 is 10, and that 14 is 10 and 4 more. Kind of hard to explain, but it is very common with little ones. I come across this issue with my grade 1s and 2s a lot.

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Another really effective idea is to make a long string of beads. It's best to make it reasonably big, and attatch it to a bookshelf or something (horizontally). You need to put 100 beads on it, and alternate the colours (10 red, 10 blue, 10 red, etc.) Use this when counting. Then have a her find a number and put a clothes peg on the string at the right spot. So if the number was 37, she will learn that it is 3 tens, then count 7 more.
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  #5  
May 18th, 2011, 06:25 PM
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If she likes the magnets, try making her a set (you can get printable magnet paper at the office supply store) with the number and a set of objects to represent the number. I would suggest putting the objects into an array (equal groups in rows with the extra tacked on to the end) so she can easily see that one is more objects than another. It may help her to understand the magnitude and relativity of numbers.
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  #6  
May 18th, 2011, 06:38 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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We're having a lot of the same issues here, with Leo(he's 7 and in first grade).
I decided to simply back off and not push, but not completely stop using them either, if that makes any sense. I honestly think, at least for him, it's one of those things he will eventually pick up on. For now though, there's not much we haven't tried, to no avail. So we still use them in math, of course, I mean we have to, lol. But if he doesn't get it or can't answer I tell him the answer, explain how we got to that number, what the number actually IS(and also do this visually with manipulatives). But I don't push it if it seems to not be sinking in. I'm not looking for other ways to *get it to sink in. I figure in time, something will click.

Sort of like memorization of facts, really. It pretty much IS necessary to move on to higher math levels, or you'll forever struggle. But not all kids click right away. Some can use other methods while still others just need to continue to hear it, in a non-pushing way, and eventually something just clicks. I'm guessing before that point they simply weren't ready to know that fact yet. At least this is my explanation for now, lol.

It can be frustrating, I know. Math can be such a hard subject and with a myriad of ways to teach/learn it, it's not all that hard to get overwhelmed or even stuck somewhere. But math was never my strongest subject. So I'd prefer that he not start hating it at such a young age, lol.
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  #7  
May 18th, 2011, 07:41 PM
Jill0924's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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You can try these experiments too - if a child "passes" the experiment, then they are ready for higher level thinking (including math concepts such as higher order numbers); if they don't "pass" then you back off and give them time to experiment and grow. Most children hit this milestone at about age 7 (some younger and some older of course). First experiment: take straws (about 5) and cut them to varying lengths. have the child order them from smallest to largest. Second experiment: show a child two balls of clay that are equal in size. Have the child squash one flat and then ask which has more? If he/she answers they are still the same, they "pass" (young children will typically say the one that is spread out). Third experiment: show the child two straws, equal in length, laying side by side (with a little space between them but oriented on on top of the other), then slide one forward a little and ask which is longer. If the child says they are still the same they "pass". Fourth experiment: show the child two glasses of water (or milk juice whatever) that are the same size/shape glass and amount of liquid (should be short and wide). Then pour one glass into a tall thin glass and ask the child which has more. If they say they're the same, they "pass". I did these as part of my school psychology course and it was neat to see the answers the children gave. They have been replicated for years with the same results - children under 6 most often can not give the correct answers, children 6-8 give the correct answers about 50/50, and children above 8 most often give the correct answers. It shows the development of abstract thinking, which is needed to process most mathematical (and some language) concepts.
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  #8  
May 18th, 2011, 08:11 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill0924 View Post
You can try these experiments too - if a child "passes" the experiment, then they are ready for higher level thinking (including math concepts such as higher order numbers); if they don't "pass" then you back off and give them time to experiment and grow. Most children hit this milestone at about age 7 (some younger and some older of course). First experiment: take straws (about 5) and cut them to varying lengths. have the child order them from smallest to largest. Second experiment: show a child two balls of clay that are equal in size. Have the child squash one flat and then ask which has more? If he/she answers they are still the same, they "pass" (young children will typically say the one that is spread out). Third experiment: show the child two straws, equal in length, laying side by side (with a little space between them but oriented on on top of the other), then slide one forward a little and ask which is longer. If the child says they are still the same they "pass". Fourth experiment: show the child two glasses of water (or milk juice whatever) that are the same size/shape glass and amount of liquid (should be short and wide). Then pour one glass into a tall thin glass and ask the child which has more. If they say they're the same, they "pass". I did these as part of my school psychology course and it was neat to see the answers the children gave. They have been replicated for years with the same results - children under 6 most often can not give the correct answers, children 6-8 give the correct answers about 50/50, and children above 8 most often give the correct answers. It shows the development of abstract thinking, which is needed to process most mathematical (and some language) concepts.
Wow! I've never heard this! (... and I took a school psych course, too. Not that I remember any of it... that was about 15 yrs ago! ) Very cool!
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  #9  
May 19th, 2011, 11:46 AM
mamma_anna's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for all your responses! It's helpful just to know this is a common thing. I don't remember it being an issue for her sisters so it kinda threw me for a loop.

Quote:
Have you tried something like this where the numbers can't be broken apart? Amazon.com: Melissa & Doug Numbers Sound Puzzle: Toys & Games
Actually the magnet set is a puzzle. We use the pieces with and without the frame (which is also a magnet) but maybe the sound feature of this would be helpful for her.

Tassiegirl, Thanks for those great ideas and the links! Ellie's on a butterfly kick right now so that one was a big hit this morning.

Quote:
It can be frustrating, I know. Math can be such a hard subject and with a myriad of ways to teach/learn it, it's not all that hard to get overwhelmed or even stuck somewhere. But math was never my strongest subject. So I'd prefer that he not start hating it at such a young age, lol.
I completely relate to this! I hated math in school. I'm trying really hard not to pass that on to my kids.

Jill, those expiriments are so cool! We've done the water one before. It'll be fun to try the others.

Okay, I feel better now.
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  #10  
May 19th, 2011, 10:29 PM
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glad she likes the butterfly game! I played it with Mia - she liked it too!
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  #11  
May 20th, 2011, 07:55 PM
LovinMyGirls's Avatar Proud Working Momma
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"Teen" Numbers are always tricky for young children a first. The magnets will certainly be a help. To get her through 11-20 at first..these might help and are fun..my kinders loved it last year.. we said them while tracing numbers with shaving cream etc.

A 1 and a 1 make 11 fun
A 1 and a 2 tell 12 what to do
A 1 and a 3 send 13 up a tree
A 1 and a 4 make 14 shut the door
A 1 and a 5 keep 15 alive
A 1 and a 6 make 16 pick up sticks
A 1 and a 7 send 17 to heaven
A 1 and an 8 make 18 great
A 1 and a 9 make 19 shine
A 2 and a 0 make 20 the hero
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  #12  
May 20th, 2011, 09:04 PM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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You've gotten some great suggestions! We used these bears to learn numbers higher than 10 : Amazon.com: 50 Counting Bears with 5 Cups: Toys & Games

I love that there are 10 of each color so it's easy to visualize that all the reds together = 10 and then 1 yellow + all 10 reds = 11, etc. Even my older kids love to play with them
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  #13  
May 26th, 2011, 07:33 PM
mamma_anna's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Amber, thank you for that idea!! I've been looking for some rhymes or songs to help her and couldn't find any that go higher than 10. (and I'm not creative enough to come up with one on my own ) She's very musical so I'm hoping this will help.

Alison, I think I saw those bears at her OT appt today. I'll make a point to have her play with them next time and see how it goes.

We've backed waaaay off this past week. Not intentionally. Life just got in the way of school. But now I have 3 very eager and willing helpers home for the summer so I'm looking forward to getting a fresh start.

Anyway, Thanks again!
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