This Helped a SPED Kid Learn Addition Regrouping!
After you sit a while with a child who is obviously trying to figure something out and having little success, you try other strategies. I was sitting with a sweet little 3rd grader who has had a difficult life. She has eyes full of hope, and I know her eyes well because last year that is all I knew…she had to wear a face mask all year. A liver transplant had required her to wear a mask to prevent infections. She is such a hard worker and that makes me really want to do so much for her.
Ok, so back to the math strategies! When I would work with this child, she would have a hard time keeping track of which number to put in her head and which number to count on her fingers. She would forget when to stop counting on her fingers. This was a lot for her to manage. Finally, I thought about having her draw to represent her head and fingers so she could keep track of it. I know this doesn’t look like rocket science and there is probably already something similar out there, but this worked for her (and me). I told her that she was to look at the two numbers in the column and choose the larger one. Then I asked her to circle that number. I told her the circle represents the number that you keep in your head. After that, I instructed her to draw dots beside the smaller number to be pictures of her fingertips that she would count up on. She did this successfully and remembered this the next day. This will even work with more digits. Next week I plan on trying a similar strategy for subtraction. I hope maybe this can help some of your SPED kids out there who you just aren’t sure what to do with :).