Maths Learning Tips
Whilst we were focused on language we didn't realise how little progress we were making with maths. This is the area of most difficulty for us and we're still trying to find ways of teaching maths with any success.
- Number correspondence counting is very difficult and has taken many years to embed and depending on the day is not always accurate. After many years, self-taught techniques help accurate counting such as putting a mark next to each object as you count it.
- Learning through play - i.e. what's the time Mr Wolf?
- Use sensory, tactile objects for counting.
- A number line help to work out basic number sentences, however for a child with simultanagnosia this may be problematic if not tactile.
- Use a large, smear free whiteboard to write out sums in a large size.
- Use an iPad/computer for simple maths games.
- Songs work to learn number bonds better than trying to count everything up each time.
General Learning Tips
- Don't set your learner up to fail - choose tasks that the child can have good success in.
- Decide where you want to focus your energy -i.e. write down 1-10 before giving a spelling test may well use up valuable concentration capacity.
- Make learning fun - learn through play.
- Concentration is key - we have built up from 1 minute to now a 10 minute window of concentration.
- Regular movement breaks help with concentration.
- CVIs make you very tired, so rest breaks during the school day also help. School is very overwhelming.
- Don't plan too many activities outside of school- what are the priorities? Clubs/social?
- Rest breaks can include quiet time in the library, going inside a sensory tent or den to shut off the world, doing a meditation or listening to music with headphones on.
- Bespoke learning materials are essential - modified to an appropriate size to 'process', not what child can 'see' often very different, decluttered and simplified.
- Chunked learning.
- Follow a daily sensory diet.
- Be calm all the time!
What has not helped
- Standard school teaching methods such as learning phonics.
- Trying to learn key concepts in a busy mainstream classroom.
- Being rigid in your teaching methods. Whilst repetition is key, if you are having limited success in teaching an area, then repetition needs to be abandoned and a new method explored.
- Applying any pressure or expectation. Give the child some control to do things when they feel ready.
- The result of many years of struggling in school means confidence is fragile.
- Professionals observing in school whom she doesn't like.
- People who talk too fast/too loudly or use an excited voice.
- School homework apps quickly get too complex and can shake confidence.
The future - where we're going next
As mentioned in the previous blog, progress is slow, and we still don't have a clear sense of our child's potential, so we just focus on what we do know and are planning these next steps:
- We are trying to find new ways to teach maths. We're exploring more song based, sensory approaches.
- Technology will be key in the future to support learning such as maths games and reading tools.
- Voice recognition software is something we're looking into.
- Multi-disciplinary team working so school, home and expert advisers can all use the same techniques to reinforce agreed learning outcomes.