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Q&A #7316


Special Education -- estimating

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From: Ann
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Nov 17, 2001 at 11:19:17
Subject: Special Education -- estimating

I am a Special Education Instructional Aide at a middle school (I will 
hopefully be teaching on my own next year).  Right now, I am working one-on-
one with a young man who has a great deal of trouble paying attention and 
staying awake when I am trying to teach him.  Math is actually a strong 
subject for him, but he just finds it boring.  I would like to find some ways 
to make the learning process "fun" so he won't dread it so much.

I think that one of the major problems right now is that he finds the things 
we are working on to be too easy for him.  For instance, yesterday we were 
working on "mental math" (rounding numbers to easily perform addition, 
subtraction, multiplication, and division problems in your head).  He was 
falling asleep, telling me stories to change the subject, picking on the boy 
next to him, and putting his head on his desk.  I had to get him to stand up 
and stretch and move around just to keep him awake!  He just kept saying "I 
give up!"  I know that a simple game would make the whole thing much more 
appealing to him, but I am having trouble figuring out something to do with 
these "easier" topics.

Tuesday we are moving on to a new section called "Estimating Sums and 
Differences." For example, one problem asks you to "Estimate 982-519 using 
one-digit front-end estimation." You would subtract the first digit in each 
number to get 400, then add 40 because 82-39 is about 40. Thus, the answer is 
440.

I think that one of the biggest problems is that I cannot really do any games 
that involve competing against his classmates, since they are all at different 
levels and he is ahead of most of them.  This means that any sort of game we 
do is going to have to involve either him by himself OR I could always "play" 
the game with him.  But HOW am I going to make something like this seem fun?!  
Please help - any suggestions would be absolutely wonderful!

Thank you for your time!

Sincerely,
Ann

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