Q&A #18610

Identifying numerals

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From: Claire (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 11, 2007 at 15:12:23
Subject: Re: Identifying numerals

Hi, Cynthia --

Thanks for writing to T2T. You are right that 7 yr olds should be well beyond
recognition of numerals. I had a second grade student once who could not
instantly recognize 7, 8, or 9. When he saw one of them, he would close his
eyes, count up to that number, and know when to stop, but could not simply
name it automatically. We made small posters for him, each with a large
numeral and some visual cue to help him associate the numeral with its name.
For example, he knew a cat has 9 lives (maybe from cat food commercials), so
we turned the numeral 9 into a cat. The trick is to find some association
that means something to the child -- a favorite TV channel, something to do
with sports, whatever works.

I'd use some of the multi-sensory strategies I learned for language disabled
children. Involve tactile, auditory, visual together as much as possible.
Have them trace numbers on sandpaper, while saying them. Trace numerals on
their backs with your fingers for them to guess. Use number rhymes, books and
songs and lots of math language. Write numerals on their fingers or on
tracings of their hands.

Of course, visual recognition is only part of the process. It's equally
important for them to associate the correct quantity with the numerals, and
to develop number sense.

It would be worth having a look at the LDOnline website under math:
http://www.ldonline.org/indepth/mathfor help. I found an interesting article
there with some specific ideas: "Developing Early Number Sense for Students
with Disabilities" at http://www.ldonline.org/article/14618

If you haven't already, make sure to refer these children to your school's
learning specialist. It's likely that there is more going on than numeral
recognition, and that other significant accommodations are in order.

I hope this is helpful. Please write again if you have more questions.

 -Claire, for the T2T service

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